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Plate 61 Jaffa looking south - After David Roberts
  • Plate 61 Jaffa looking south - After David Roberts

    Roberts arrived at Jaffa on the 25th March 1839 (not in April as the facsimile on the lithograph suggests). He wrote in his journal 'leaving our encampment by daybreak, we passed a beautiful little town called Ibrech, and arrived at Jaffa, which is surrounded by orange groves, and stands on a hill sloping to the sea.' [1] 'Roberts noted that the city, long ago known as Joppa, enjoyed a magnificent location. Southward , the eye could roam freely over the rich plains that extended toward Gaza, while northward the horizon was enclosed by the noble silhouette of Mount Carmel. To the east stretched the hills of Judea, toward Jerusalem, while to the west extended the endless waves of the Mediterranean.' [2]


    The city was supposedly founded by Japheth, who was a son of Noah and is said to be where Noah built his ark. The city was 'certainly the Joppa of the Philistines, burned by Judas Maccabee in the second century B.C., and later destroyed by Vespasian. The Arabs took the city in A.D. 637, but it was conquered twice by the Crusaders, until finally being expunged by the sultan Baibars and largely destroyed in 1267. Today it forms part of the urban agglomeration of Tel Aviv.' [3]


    The drawings and watercolours from this tour by David Roberts 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 an original First Edition version (1842-1849) published on the 18th August 1843.


    Medium: Original First Edition Lithograph, with hand-colouring on thick woven paper.


    Full Plate 22.


    Inscribed l.l. 'Jaffa, ancient Joppa april 26 1839, David Roberts RA', 34 x 49 cm, framed.




    [1] David Roberts Journal, 25th March 1839.


    [2] Fabio Bourbon (ed). Yesterday and Today: The Holy Land. Swan Hill Press: London, 1997, p.112. Translated by Antony Shugaar.


    [3] Ibid.


    Condition report: the lithograph is in very good condition for its age. There are some small time staining marks in the margins as shown in the photographs. Please note, there is some light reflection on the frame which is not present when seen in person.

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