The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt & Nubia, after lithographs by Louise Haghe from drawings made on the spot by David Roberts, R.A, London, 1855–1856 - The first quarto edition containing 250 lithographic plates, published by Day & Son, London, [1855–1856]. English. Six parts in six volumes - Complete set.
Complete set of David Roberts' monumental work "The Holy Land" - the first edition of quarto format. Six parts containing 250 lithographs based on Roberts' paintings, and two engraved maps presenting the route of his journey across the Middle East. The lithographs depict landscape scenes and people from Roberts' famous voyage of 1839-1840, including buildings, cities, people, landscapes and sites holy to various religions throughout Eretz Israel and the Middle East. W ith descriptions by George Croly and William Brockedon. The lithographs were first released in 18 large portfolios which were too heavy and large for many interested in them. Therefore the publisher decided on issuing an additional edition in a lighter, more convenient format.
David Roberts' [1796-1864] paintings of "The Holy Land" are considered the peak of 19th century lithographic art. Roberts illustrated the paintings during an 11-month trip to the Near East in 1839-1840. His drawings were worked into color lithographs by one of the greatest 19th century lithography artists - Louise Haghe who used "hand-tinting" technique to remain as faithful as possible to Roberts' original paintings. The plates were prepared based on the paintings Roberts brought, and the printing work took almost ten years under Roberts' supervision. To finance the printing, over 600 subscriptions were sold in advance - European nobility and rulers: Queen Victoria (subscriber No. 1 - her set is still preserved in the Royal Collection), the Archbishops of York and Canterbury, the Austrian Emperor, the Russian Tsar, the Kings of France and Prussia and others. Roberts, one of the greatest 19th century artists, produced over 2,000 paintings and drawings during his lifetime.
Roberts is considered the greatest light-and-shade artist of all time. Beyond the beauty and uncompromising professionalism of the lithographs he created, they have significant historic importance as they provided for the first time a detailed glimpse into the Middle East at a time when the region was still largely unexplored by Europeans.
A nice copy, bound in half leather bindings with gilt embossing. Six parts in six volumes:
Volume I:  Leaves, 35 pages,  Leaves + Plates 1–44
Volume II:  Leaf, 3 pages,  Leaves + Plates 45–87
Volume III:  Leaf, 3 pages,  Leaves + Plates 88–125
Volume IV:  Leaf, 9 pages,  Leaves + Plates 126–168
Volume V:  Leaves + Plates 169–212
Volume VI:  Leaves + Plates 213–250
29 cm edition. Nice edition in good condition. Most lithographs are clean. Some lightly stained. Slight rubbing on the covers..