Lot 4
  • 4

DAVID ROBERTS, R.A. | Approach of the Simoon, Desert of Gizeh [Giza]

30,000 - 50,000 GBP
56,250 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Roberts
  • Approach of the Simoon, Desert of Gizeh [Giza]
  • signed and dated David Roberts 1844 lower left
  • watercolour over pencil, heightened with bodycolour and gum arabic


Probably Thomas Birchall, by 1857
Mrs Edward Berry
Her executor's sale: Christie's, London, 6 May 1872, lot 82
Agnew's, London (purchased at the above sale)
Henry Milnes Rait
Reginald Prance
Sale: Christie's, London, 9 May 1894, lot 80 
Leggatt Galleries, London (purchased at the above sale) 
Evelyn, Lady Durand
Sale: Sotheby's, London, 28 November 1974, lot 126
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner Lithographed:

by Louis Haghe for Egypt and Nubia (vol. III), in The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Egypt and Nubia, London 1849, pl. 114 (with the above title) & 1856 vol. VI, pl. 240 (as The Simoom [sic] in Desert)


Probably Manchester, Art Treasures Exhibition, 1857, no. 743 (lent by Thomas Birchall)
London, Agnew's, Exhibition of Water-Colour Drawings, 1874, no. 42

Catalogue Note

After a critic viewed the present lot in the 1874 Agnew’s exhibition, he commented that 'The Simoon (42), though only a small drawing, expresses with extraordinary force and beauty the obscured sunlight dimly illuminating the wide stretch of sandy desert. Roberts's work is sometimes refined overmuch, and this example is all the more precious in expressing the strength as well as the delicacy of the painter's genius.' (The Art Journal, 1874, p. 108) In 1850 Roberts executed an oil painting of this subject for the author Charles Dickens (1812-1870) (Private Collection).

We are very grateful to Briony Llewellyn for her help when cataloguing this lot.