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Egypt and Nubia in 45 early drawings and squeezes,
preserving images of sculptures and inscriptions

ROBERTSON, William.
Egypt & Nubia.
Cairo [and elsewhere in Egypt and Nubia], 1838-1839. Folio (48 x 36.5 cm). Album containing 42 pencil and other drawings (a few partly coloured) and 3 squeezes, some on the album leaves and some loosely inserted, mostly of ancient Egyptian and Nubian architecture, sculpture, bas-reliefs and hieroglyphic inscriptions, but also with a few botanical drawings and landscapes with buildings. Most have English-language captions in brown ink and are signed and dated 1838 to 1839. New black half morocco, using mid-19th-century marbled paper for the sides.
€ 45,000
An album of drawings (and squeezes of bas reliefs) made by William Robertson on a journey from Cairo in December 1838 down the Nile into Nubia, reaching as far south as the present-day Egyptian-Sudanese border region, including the temples of Abu Simbel, in January 1839, then returning via Philae, Karnak and other sites to Thebes in February 1839. They give very detailed views of numerous buildings, sculptures, bas-reliefs and hieroglyphic inscriptions, as well as more distant views of landscapes with buildings and three botanical drawings. Since many of the ancient Egyptian sites have been looted and damaged over the years, these early drawings and squeezes provide an important record of what was there in 1838/39 and how it was situated, before the first photographs were made.
While Robertson made most of his drawings on site, he drew the Temple at Luxor after a drawing by Achille Émile Prisse d'Avennes (1807-1879) who began exploring and drawing the ancient Egyptian sites in 1836 and published many of his drawings in 1847.
A few of the original album leaves are now detached and may have been removed by the artist himself. One inserted drawing is severely foxed and one inserted floor plan is rather dirty, but in general the drawings are in very good condition.
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Related Subjects:

Africa  >  Drawings, Prints & Watercolours | North Africa & Egypt
Art & architecture  >  Architecture & Gardens
Middle east & islamic world  >  Africa | Mediterranean Regions