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David Roberts
Dates: British, 1796 - 1864
Biographical Account:

The Scottish painter David Roberts was born on 24th October 1796 near Edinburgh.

 

Between 1816 and 1830 Roberts was employed in the theatre in, where he designed and painted stage scenery. He began working in Edinburgh then moved down to London.

 

Roberts exhibited his first easel painting in London in 1824 and another at the Royal Academy in 1826. After the successful reception of his painting he was able to give up his theatrical work.

 

In 1832 Roberts made a trip to Spain. He was one of the first British artists to travel there and the works he produced enhanced his reputation. His main concern in his oil and watercolour paintings was the portrayal the ‘constant aspect of any place'.

 

Travelling was Roberts’s greatest source of inspiration; he travelled all over, from the Netherlands to Egypt and Jerusalem. He was interested in the oriental world and the contemporary interest in these places, and especially the Holy Lands of the Bible.

 

Whilst travelling Roberts drew the Egyptian temples, the deserts and the views from the towns. He also sketched more detailed interiors of the buildings and of the local lifestyle. 247 lithographs were made by Louis Haghe of Roberts’s eastern drawings and were bound into six volumes, including the titles The Hold Land, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt and Nubia.

 

He died of apoplexy at his home in London on the 25th November 1864.

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