Robert’s Egypt & Nubia and The Holy Land

David Roberts (1796 – 1864) was a Scottish artist famous for being among the first European artists to sketch many of the archaeological sites throughout Egypt and Palestine. In some cases he was the first Westerner permitted access inside mosques and other holy sites. Aided by a camera lucida (light box), he traveled extensively, sketching and painting temples, monuments, landscapes and cities. Upon his return to England, Roberts worked with the lithographer Louis Haghe to produce the entire set of 248 lithographic plates. F.G. Moon published the lavish elephant folio series edition at an enormous cost, and the book is world famous and enormously influential both because of Robert’s detailed architectural renderings in an age before photography, as well as for the quality of its stone lithographs. Although images are readily available online, it is truly a treat to view the actual books (housed in special collections).

Egypt & Nubia: From Drawings Made on the Spot by David Roberts; with historical descriptions by William Brockedon; lithographed by Louis Haghe

The Holy Land : Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt & Nubia / from drawings made on the spot by David Roberts ; with historical descriptions by George Croly ; lithographed by Louis Haghe.

For further reading, see this discussion on Roberts and his travels and influence, or this travel blog which shows the scenes Roberts depicted side by side with present day photographs.

-posted by Ariel B.


Two Upcoming Book Events

The  second annual Boston Book Festival will be held in various locations in Boston on Saturday October 16th from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.  Admission is free. The festival will include writers’ and artists’ presentations, book signings, workshops, booksellers and exhibitors, children’s events and activities, a street fair, and live music.  For the complete schedule of events got to Read more about the book festival in a recent article in the Boston Globe.

Another event taking place in Providence, organized by the Rhode Island Center for the Book, is the 2010 Art of the Book Program: Bound in Leather being held on Saturday October 30 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm, which is free and open to the public.  At 2:00 pm Phoebe S. Bean, Printed Collection Librarian at the Rhode Island Historical Society, will give a lecture entitled “Original Skin: A History of Books and Leather in New England”.  Ms. Bean will present an illustrated history of leather bindings, both imported and domestic, and discuss their integrated role in the development of Rhode Island and New England society.  This lecture will take place at the RIHS Aldrich House, 110 Benevolent Street in Providence.

In conjunction with this lecture there will be statewide exhibits of leather book bindings in Rhode Island Collections at the following locations:  David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University; the John Carter Brown Library; the Providence Athenaeum; the Providence Public Library Special Collections; the Redwood Library and Athenaeum; the Rhode Island Historical Society, the Fleet Library at RISD; and the University of RI Special Collections.