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Plate 3 The Damascus Gate, Jerusalem - After David Roberts
  • Plate 3 The Damascus Gate, Jerusalem - After David Roberts

    The Damascus Gate is a name the Europeans gave to the structure because of it leading to Damascus and Nabulus by the great northern road. The walls of Jerusalem itself are mainly modern and Saracenic, 'but are built evidently on the site of more ancient walls, raised in the time of the Crusaders, and those not improbably, formed of the material of other still more ancient. They consist wholly of hewn stones, in general not of remarkable size, and laid in mortar. An Arabic inscription over the Yaffa Gate, gives the rebuilding to Sultan Suleiman, in the year of the Hegira (A.D. 1542). The walls are still stately, and at a distance, picturesque; they have towers and battlements, the latter crowning a breastwork with loopholes. A broad walk passes along the top of the wall, protected by the breastwork, and reached by flights of steps from within. Their height varies according to the inequalities of the ground outside from twenty to fifty feet' (1).


    The drawings and watercolours from this tour of the Holy Land and Egypt were collated together into folios and released over a seven year period by the publisher F.G. Moon from 20 Threadneedle Street London. This lithograph is from the Royal Subscription Edition (1842-1849) with only 500 copies produced per depiction. Louis Haghe (the Belgian engraver and friend of Roberts) worked on all of the lithographs for this series.


    Medium: Original Royal Subscription Edition, half-plate hand-coloured lithograph on thick woven paper. 


    Inscribed on lithograph l.r. 'gate of Damascus, Jerusalem, April 14th 1839', 23 x 27.6 cm (picture size), mounted.


    Half Plate 3.

    Condition report: Small tears on left hand-side and at the top in the centre which are mainly hidden by the mount. There is a small fold towards the lower right hand corner which is only obvious when viewed closely.




    (1) Nachman Ran (ed). The Holy Land. Studio Editions: London, 1989, vol. I, p.27.

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