David Roberts, R.A.

Preferred Media: Painting
Born: 24 October 1796 in Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Died: 25 November 1864
Nationality: British
Elected A.R.A: 05 Nov 1838
Elected R.A: 10 Feb 1841
Biography
Scottish painter. The son of a shoemaker, he was apprenticed to a house-painter. From 1816 until 1830 he was employed in the theatre to design and paint stage scenery, first in Edinburgh and Glasgow and after 1822 in London. While in Scotland he met and worked with Clarkson Stanfield and later collaborated with him in London on dioramas and panoramas.

Roberts exhibited his first easel painting in London in 1824 and at the Royal Academy in 1826 (View of Rouen Cathedral, no. 221; untraced).

In common with other contemporary painters of picturesque topography and architecture, such as Stanfield, J. D. Harding and James Holland, Roberts undertook journeys abroad in search of exotic or impressive subjects. He made his first visit to Spain in 1832-3, one of the first British artists to travel there. From Spain, Roberts briefly visited Morocco; later he made watercolours from sketches by other artists for engraving in T. H. Horne's Landscape Illustrations of the Bible (1836). These encounters with the oriental world, in the context of contemporary interest in exotic places, especially the lands of the Bible, encouraged him to undertake a tour of the Near East in 1838. He was one of the first independent and professional British artists to experience the Orient at first hand.

Roberts arrived in Jerusalem at Easter 1839, having travelled from Egypt via Sinai and Petra; later he continued north to Lebanon and departed from Beirut in May. His drawings show his ability to create visually effective compositions from a variety of subjects.

Roberts's eastern compositions reached a wide audience through 247 lithographs made by Louis Haghe. Originally published in parts, these were later bound into six volumes as The Holy Land, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt and Nubia (1842-9.

He was elected ARA in 1838 and RA in 1841.
 
Works of Art: 30
Books: 10
Archives: 22
Works by

Sketches of seated Moorish women   
Sketches of seated Moorish women
1833
David Roberts
  

Two Spanish peasants, Andalucia   
Two Spanish peasants, Andalucia
1833
David Roberts
  

A Spaniard   
A Spaniard
c. 1833
David Roberts
  

Portrait of Clarkson Stanfield   
Portrait of Clarkson Stanfield
c. 1845
David Roberts
  

The Great Temple of Aboo-Simble,...   
The Great Temple of Aboo-Simble,...
David Roberts
  

The Great Sphinx. Pyramids of...   
The Great Sphinx. Pyramids of...
17 July 1839
David Roberts
  
 

Great Hall at Karnac, Thebes   
Great Hall at Karnac, Thebes
28 November 1838
David Roberts
  

Temple of Edfou, ancient Appolinopolis,...   
Temple of Edfou, ancient Appolinopolis,...
David Roberts
  

Ruins of Karnac   
Ruins of Karnac
David Roberts
  

Interior of the Temple of...   
Interior of the Temple of...
9 November 1836
David Roberts
  

Part of the Portico of...   
Part of the Portico of...
23 November 1838
David Roberts
  

Fragments of the Great Colossi,...   
Fragments of the Great Colossi,...
David Roberts
  
 

View looking across the Hall...   
View looking across the Hall...
27 November 1838
David Roberts
  

The Hypaethral Temple at Philae,...   
The Hypaethral Temple at Philae,...
David Roberts
  

View from under the Portico...   
View from under the Portico...
David Roberts
  

Statues of Memnon at Thebes,...   
Statues of Memnon at Thebes,...
David Roberts
  

Edfou   
Edfou
24 November 1838
David Roberts
  

Grand Entrance to the Temple...   
Grand Entrance to the Temple...
David Roberts
  
 

View of Westminster Abbey and...   
View of Westminster Abbey and...
ca. 1860
David Roberts
  

View of St. Paul's Cathedral...   
View of St. Paul's Cathedral...
ca. 1860
David Roberts
  

View of St. Paul's, London   
View of St. Paul's, London
August 11th 1860
David Roberts
  

The river front of Somerset...   
The river front of Somerset...
August 11th 1860
David Roberts
  

Ships in a harbour   
Ships in a harbour
by 1864
David Roberts
  

The Gateway to the Great...   
The Gateway to the Great...
1841
David Roberts
  
 
Works after

Dunbarton Castle   
Dunbarton Castle
December 1830
David Roberts
  

Xerez from the Ramparts   
Xerez from the Ramparts
28 October 1835
David Roberts
  

The Cathedral   
The Cathedral
David Roberts
  
Works associated with

David Roberts, R.A.   
David Roberts, R.A.
fl. 1857-1876
John & Charles Watkins
  

David Roberts R.A.   
David Roberts R.A.
ca.1870s
L. Caldesi & Co
  

Portrait of David Roberts   
Portrait of David Roberts
c. 1845
Clarkson Stanfield
  

Hall, Samuel Carter, editor   The book of gems. : The modern poets and artists of Great Britain. / Edited by S.C. Hall - London 1838   
06/2555   
British painters of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries : with eighty examples of their work engraved on wood.   - London [n.d.]   
08/2633   
Ballantine, James   The Life Of David Roberts, R.A. Compiled From His Journals And Other Sources By James Ballantine With Etchings And Facsimiles Of Pen-And-Ink Sketches By The Artist - Edinburgh [1866]   
07/3402   
Views In London And Its Vicinity, Complete In Forty-Eight Plates, Engraved On Copper, By George Cooke, From Drawings By Callcott, R.A. Stanfield, A.R.A. Prout. Roberts. Stark. Harding. Cotman. Havell. &c. &c. After The Original Sketches Made On The Spot By Edward W. Cooke.   - London: (1834.)   
06/5818   
Egypt & Nubia From Drawings Made On The Spot By David Roberts R.A. With Historical Descriptions By William Brockedon, F.R.S. Lithographed By Louis Haghe. Vol. I.   - London [1846 (- 1849)]   
05/611   
The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt, & Nubia. From Drawings Made On The Spot By David Roberts, R.A. With Historical Descriptions, By The Revd. George Croly, L.L.D. Lithography By Louis Haghe. - Vol. 1. (2.)   - London [1842 (-1843)]   
06/4796   
Picturesque Sketches In Spain Taken During the Years 1832 & 1833 By David Roberts   - London [1852 or later?]   
06/4791   
Pye, John, the younger   Patronage Of British Art, An Historical Sketch: Comprising An Account Of The Rise And Progress Of Art And Artists In London, From The Beginning Of The Reign Of George The Second; Together With A History Of The Society For The Management And Distribution Of The Artists' Fund, From Its Establishment In 1810, To Its Incorporation In 1827. Illustrated With Notes, Historical, Biographical, And Explanatory. By John Pye, Landscape-Engraver, Honorary Member Of The Imperial Academy Of Arts, St. Petersburgh. [Epigraph] - London: 1845.   
06/2535   
The Royal Gallery Of British Art.   - London: [ca. 1851?]   
05/818   
The Royal Gallery Of British Art.   - London: [ca. 1851?]   
05/806   
AND/26/298    Invitation to attend the funeral of David Roberts    29 Nov 1864    Item   
AND/26/297    Title page of a sale catalogue    20 May 1865    Item   
AND/26/296    Private view invitation to view iThe Destruction of Jerusalem/i, by David Roberts    [1850]    Item   
AND/26/288    Title page of a sale catalogue    1865    Item   
AND/26/286    David Roberts, 7 Fitzroy Street, to Mr Anderdon    7 May 1861    Item   
AND/26/285    Title page of a sale catalogue    28 Apr 1860    Item   
AND/26/19    David Roberts, Fitzroy St., to Anderdon    25 Mar 1854    Item   
AND/24/68    Title page of a sale catalogue    20 May 1865    Item   
AND/22/312    Pages 25 and 26 of the 1836 Academy catalogue    1836    Item   
AND/22/311    Title page to a sales catalogue    20 May 1865    Item   
AND/21/49    Sales catalogue cutting    [1865]    Item   
AND/11/2    [copy] Invitation ticket to the Royal Academy annual dinner    [1800]    Item   
JU/14/29    David Roberts, Fitzroy St., to Christine    [1853]    Item   
JU/14/27    David Roberts, 7 Fitzroy St., to H. Mogford Esq.    03 Jul 1852    Item   
AND/1/8    Cutting from the sale catalogue for the goods of David Roberts, R.A.    [c.1865]    Item   
RAA/SEC/1/144    Letter from J. F. Lewis, Walton on Thames, to David Roberts, RA    19 Jul 1859    Item   
RAA/SEC/2/117/1    Francis Graham Moon, 20 Threadneedle Street, to Sir Martin Archer Shee    12 Apr 1842    Item   
236/46/18    W.P. Frith, 7 Pembridge Villas, Bayswater, to T. Miller    3 May 1865    Item   
236/45/18    W.P. Frith, 12 Park Village West, London, to T. Miller    10 Feb 1851    Item   
236/32/4    R. Ansdell, 7 Victoria Rd., Kensington, to T. Miller    [1849]    Item   
236/29    David Roberts, R.A.    1849-1853    Series   
236/45/13    W.P. Frith, London, to T. Miller    15 Apr 1855    Item