The Scottish artist David Roberts (1796-1864) was the first British artist to sketch the fantastic monuments of ancient Egypt. In the course of two and a half months in 1838, travelling some 800 miles south from Cairo, David Roberts recorded the monumental temple sites along the Nile in more than a hundred sketches.
In 1839 he undertook the second part of his journey, leaving Cairo in the company of two friends, travelling through Suez, Mount Sinai and Petra, and continuing on up through the Holy Land and into modern day Lebanon. Having visited the most remarkable places from Dan to Beersheba, he finally returned home after some eleven months.
Upon his return, David Roberts submitted his drawings to F.G Moon in London, an enterprising publisher, who arranged for Roberts to superintend their reproduction into lithographs, a task entrusted to Louis Hague. Preparing the plates for production took almost eight years.