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Plate 216 Approach to Alexandria, Egypt - After David Roberts
  • Plate 216 Approach to Alexandria, Egypt - After David Roberts

    Following stopovers in France, Italy, Malta and the Cyclades, David Roberts reached Alexandria on 24 September 1838. He wrote in his journal 'This morning we rose early. Alexandria was right in front of us, with mosques and palm trees that gave it a different atmosphere from any I had ever seen before...The bay was crowded with a large number of vessels, many of which were warships; our boat was soon surrounded by the most picturesque boatmen I have ever seen.' The wharves were thronged with activity and the city itself was an indescribable confusion to Roberts. Greek and Jewish merchants were prominent in the city's trade with many magnificently dressed Turkish gentlemen also visible. There was also a slave trade still going strong in Alexandria with many slave girls noted by Roberts. Every nationality in the world seemed to be in Alexandria during his visit but the city had lost a lot of its ancient splendour. It was highly populated with around 600,000 inhabitants recorded around 1838. This lithograph is the first work Roberts produced on his trip and is arguably one of the best showing his skill in marine painting. 


    The drawings and watercolours from this sketching tour by David Roberts of the Holy Land and Egypt were collated together into folios and released over a seven year period between 1842 and 1849 by the publisher F.G. Moon from 20 Threadneedle Street London. This lithograph is an original First Edition version and was published on the 1st December 1848. Louis Haghe (the Belgian lithographer and friend of Roberts) oversaw and produced all of the lithographs for this series.


    Medium: Original First Edition Lithograph, Full Plate, hand coloured on thick woven paper.


    Full Plate 216.


    Inscribed l.l. 'David Roberts R.A. - L Haghe lith', l.r. 'Alexandria', 37 x 51.2 cm (picture size), mounted.


    Condition report: excellent condition, small tear by inscription 'Alexandria' at the base of the lithograph which does not impact the image itself.

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