top of page
Plate 123 Scene of the Quay of Suez - After David Roberts
  • Plate 123 Scene of the Quay of Suez - After David Roberts

    Roberts' group left Cairo on the 7th February and were within sight of Suez and the Red Sea three days later after treking through the desert. Roberts was particularly imressed with the city and wrote in his journal on the 10th 'Suez picturesque. Made a few sketches. Boats curious in form; sea limpid and pure.' [1]


    The city of Suez stands 'on the site of the ancient city of Kolsum, [and] was already fairly imortant in bygone eras as the way station in passing from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean, but it had declined to little more than a unassuming village when the English, in a joint undertaking with the pasha of Egypt, established regular trade with their colonies in the Far East across the isthmus. Suez thus became the destination of steamers arriving from Bombay and even from China. In a very short time, it had attained a great importance, and the construction of the canal only increased the importance of the port city.' [2]


    The drawings and watercolours from this tour of the Holy Land and Egypt by David Roberts were collated together into lithographic folios and released over a seven year period (1842-1849) by the publisher F.G. Moon from 20 Threadneedle Street London. This lithograph is from the Royal Subscription Edition (1842-1849) which includes original hand-colouring from Louis Haghe's studio. There were only around 500 copies produced per lithograph in this edition.


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


    Half Plate 123.


    Inscribed l.l.'Quay at Suez February 11th 1839' and l.r. 'David Roberts R.A.', 22.8 x 30.5 cm (lithograph size), mounted.




    [1] David Roberts' Egyptian and Holy Land Journal, 10th February 1839.


    [2] Fabio Bourbon (ed). Yesterday and Today: The Holy Land. Swan Hill Press: London, 1997, p.30. Translated by Antony Shugaar.


    Condition report: a few scattered foxing marks on the lithograph but not very obvious.

      bottom of page