The Berger Collection


David Roberts, RA (1796-1864)
Egyptian Landscape with a Distant View of the Pyramids, 1862
Oil on canvas
Signed and dated at lower left, David Roberts R.A. 1862; inscribed by the artist on verso, To Dr Henry Bence Jones / With the Artist's Best Wishes / July 14, 1862
14 1/4 x 23 1/2 in. (36 x 59.5 cm)

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Roberts painted this picture in London in 1862, two years before his death, as a gift for his doctor, Henry Bence Jones. The artist noted his debt to Jones at the time, saying that it was he "to whom next to God I owe my restoration to health." It is a wonderfully evocative scene recalling the heyday of Roberts's work when he traveled throughout the Middle East making pictures for his five-volume series The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt, and Nubia. These travels clearly provided him with subject matter for years to come. In this case, he has chosen to invent an imaginary Egyptian landscape by combining the Temple of Edfu in the foreground with the distant pyramids at Giza in the background. For added effect, Roberts included a long caravan of camels across the center of the painting.


Provenance

Dr. Henry Bence Jones; M. Kerkhoven; his sale, Christie’s, London, 4 December 1959, lot 64; bought by Ian Low; sold by him to Jeremy Maas, London; sold by him to [?] Ross; Sotheby’s, London, 12 April 1995, lot 84; Sotheby's, London, November 12, 1997, lot 112

Bibliography

Literature: Roberts Record Book , no. 238 (untitled); J. Ballantine, The Life of David Roberts, RA, 1866, no. 262, p. 215 (as Egyptian Composition )

Exhibited: Maas Gallery, London, 1969, no. 34 (as Arab Tribesmen by a Temple Ruin in Egypt )


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