146
146
JUMP TO LOT
146
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Master & British Works on Paper

|
London

David Roberts, R.A.
EDINBURGH 1796 - 1864 LONDON
THE GREAT HALL AT KARNAK, THEBES, EGYPT
Watercolour over pencil, heightened with bodycolour;
signed lower right: David Roberts. R.A., inscribed lower right: Thebes / Great Hall at Karnak Nov. 28th 1838.
475 by 325 mm
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Possibly Frederick Nettlefold (1833-1913);
his executor's sale, London, Christie's, 5 June 1913, lot 40, bt. Agnew's;
with Agnew's, London;
George Sandford, Archdeacon of Doncaster (1861-1945);
Private Collection, 1950s;
sale, London, Sotheby's, 10 July 1997, lot 158,
where acquired by Bernadette and William M.B. Berger, Denver, Colorado

Literature

K. Sim, David Roberts R.A. 1796-1864, London 1984, p. 128

Lithographed:

by Louis Haghe for The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt and Nubia, London, 1846, vol. 1, pl. 20

Catalogue Note

This large drawing was made on the 28th November, during Roberts’ journey up the Nile between the 6th October and the 21st December 1838. Although other Europeans had explored the interior of Egypt before him, Roberts was the first British professional artist to make the journey up the Nile. He explored Karnak twice during this voyage, once on the 23rd October and again between the 26th and 31st November. He enthused in his journal ‘What shall I say of Carnac [sic]? Its grandeur cannot be imagined, were I to write what I think it would be merely rhapsody’.1 He continued, advising that in order to gain a true impression of their grandeur ‘you must be under them [the columns] and look up and walk round them.’2

Other drawings by Roberts of the Hypostyle Hall at Karnac are held at the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, the Manchester City Art Gallery and the Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield.3 The present drawing was lithographed for Roberts’ The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt & Nubia in 1846. We are grateful to Briony Llewellyn for her help when cataloguing this work.


1. H. Guiterman and B. Llewellyn, David Roberts, London 1987, p. 114
2. Ibid, p. 77
3. Karnac - View looking across the Hall of Columns (Yale Center for British Art B1915.4.1579); The Temple, Karnak - Oblique View of The Hall of Columns (Manchester City Art Gallery - 1966.267); Karnac, Hall of Columns - The Dromos, or First Court of the Temple of Karnac (Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield - 2239)

Old Master & British Works on Paper

|
London