David ROBERTS (1794-1864), Louis Haghe (1806-1885) – ‘Temple Biggeh’, lithograph
Artist: David Roberts (Scottish, 1794-1864)
Engraver: Louis Haghe (British, 1806-1885)
Publisher: Rev George Croly (British, 1780-1860)
‘Ruins Temple in the Island of Bigge, Nubia’
Volume V, The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt and Nubia, 1847
(sight) 9” high x 13” wide
(framed) 23” high x 29 ½” wide
Small-Folio, hand-coloured lithograph titled ‘Ruins Temple in the Island of Bigge, Nubia’”, the original drawn by Scottish artist David Roberts (1794-1864) Royal Academy, and transposed to lithograph by Louis Haghe (1806-1885) and published in The Holy Land, Egypt and Nubia, Volume V, 1847.
Notes: “This Temple is situated on an island close to that of Philae; owing to its greater elevation, it overlook that island and the Nile, and one of the finest points of view of the temples of Philae, from Bigge, is a scene which has already been given in this Work. Wilkinson considers that the Temple of Bigge is of great antiquity, from some granite remains and the inscriptions which they bear. The columns, however, which are seen in this sketch as part of the grand entrance, are evidently Ptolemaic, and have formed a portion of a previous portico. In advance of these, ascending from the river, once stood the flanking towers of the propylon, which commanded the outer court or dromos, of which that which now surrounds the arch was a portion; this may be traced by the sculpture which still exists. The arch is an addition of a later period; Wilkinson says, of the Christian era: it presents a singularly incongruous appearance in the midst of Egyptian architecture. The ruins are surrounded by a miserably mud built Arab village. The Temple of Bigge from its elevated situation, to which the approach was by a flight of steps, must have exhibited a noble appearance and produced a very striking effect. The present Temple appears to have been commenced by Euergetes I., and was dedicated by him to Athor; it was completed by the Caesars: but Wilkinson conjectures, from a red granite statue found there, that an edifice existed on Bigge as told as Thothmes III. Or Amunoph I., and that Bigge is the Baton of Seneca, in spite of the doubts expressed by other Egyptian antiquaries.” David Roberts Journal
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Summary: Small-Folio, hand-coloured lithograph titled ‘Ruins Temple in the Island of Bigge, Nubia’”, the original drawn by Scottish artist David Roberts (1794-1864) Royal Academy, and transposed to lithograph by Louis Haghe (1806-1885) and published in The Holy Land, Egypt and Nubia, Volume V, 1847. “In 1853, unsold sets of Roberts’ lithographs were put up at auction, “and the stones from which the prints had been worked were ALL DESTROYED in the Rooms during the progress of the sale” (Abbey, 340-41). Tooley 401. Abbey 385.” (Bauman)
Roberts access to these ancient sites was rare being the first artist to traverse the Near East East and reaction to it was widely praised and celebrated.
Markings: titled in lithograph lower left, ‘Ruins Temple in the Island of Bigge, Nubia’”; signed in litho. Lower right, ‘David Roberts. R.A. – L. Haghe Litho.’
Condition: Very Good Vintage Condition – no damage, no restoration; uninspected out of frame. For accuracy there appears to be a small tear near the signature along the margin lower right. The colours are bright and there is no fading.
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