• View of Tetouan from the Terrace of Cohen's House, Morocco -
    Price on request

    Indistinctly signed lower left: D. Roberts and inscribed lower centre: Tituan from the Terrace of Cohen's house in the/Jews town april 10th 1833

    Watercolour over pencil heightened with bodycolour on two sheets of joined grey paper

    23 by 67.9 cm., 9 by 26 ¾ in.



    The Artist's studio sale, Christie's, 15th May 1865, lot 350;

    Anonymous sale, Christie's, 25th January 1902, lot 90;

    Mrs Viola Bicknell, her sale, Christie's, 17th June 1969, lot 170, bt. Agnew's;

    Private Collection, circa 1971 until 2019



    Katharine Sim, David Roberts, R.A. (1796-1864) - A Biography, 1984, p.86



    London, Architectural Association, 9 Conduit Street, A Collection of Pictures, Drawings, Sketches, & Etchings by David Roberts RA, 1865, no.616


    This on-the-spot sketch is a rare work from Roberts’s first foray outside Europe, to Morocco in March and April 1833. Leaving London in October 1832, he reached Madrid in December and travelled on to Cordoba, Granada, Malaga, Ronda and crossed to Tangiers from Gibraltar in March 1833. He wrote to his friend David Ramsay Hay at the end of March from Tangiers that he was `indeed in a New World’ and that `Yesterday was Market day – only fancy an African Market – I am so bewildered I cannot trust myself to write about it, only rely upon it I am not idle..’ (letter to Hay, 29th March 1833, National Library of Scotland).


    Tetouan lies about 35 miles south-east of Tangiers at the foot of the Rif Mountain and the journey took Roberts through beautiful countryside. Having reached Tetouan, he got into trouble for not announcing his visit in advance as Christians were supposed to do. He was rescued by his host Mr Cohen who acted as his interpreter and guide during his eight days in Tetouan. Four views of Tetouan after Roberts were engraved for Thomas Roscoe’s `Spain and Morocco’ published in 1838. A watercolour preparatory to an engraving, `Tetuan: The Great Square’, is in the Wallace Collection, London.

  • Dryburgh Abbey, Scotland -

    Signed lower left: David Roberts R.A., inscribed lower right: Dryburgh Abbey/more properly Wet borough… and further signed on original mount: To my friend John Murray. This Sketch made on the Spot/& presented April 22nd 1855/David Roberts

    Watercolour over pencil heightened with touches of bodycolour on buff paper

    24.7 by 35 cm., 9 3/4 by 13 3/4 inches



    John Murray III (1808-1892);

    By descent to the present owner


    Roberts gave this drawing to his friend John Murray in April 1855 but this on-the-spot sketch dates from earlier. He may have visited Dryburgh which is in the Scottish Borders near Galashiels on his Scottish tour in 1854 and he certainly visited nearby Melrose in September-October 1846. He also sketched Dryburgh on his tour in the autumn of 1831.


    A view of Dryburgh Abbey, dated 1832, was sold at Christie’s on 18th March 1980, lot 103.


    Educated at Charterhouse, John Murray III joined the family publishing house, which had been founded by his grandfather, in 1828, based, as it still is, at 50 Albemarle St, Mayfair. In 1836, he launched a series of travel guides of European countries and in 1843 took over the running of the family firm on the death of his father. He ran the firm until his death in 1892 publishing many notable authors including David Livingstone and Charles Darwin.  Murray's relationship with the artist is documented by letters in the John Murray Archive now in the National Library of Scotland. 

  • Cologne Cathedral, Germany -

    Signed lower left, inscribed lower right: Cologne July 29th/1830 and further indistinctly inscribed upper right

    Watercolour over pencil heightened with bodycolour on buff paper

    24.1 by 36.2 cm., 9 ½ by 14 ½ in.



    By descent in the Warde-Norbury Family until 2015


    Roberts’ only sketching tour to Germany was in the summer of 1830 when he journeyed down the Rhine although he did pass through the country on his way to and from Venice in 1851. He went up the Rhine as far as Heidelberg which he particularly enjoyed. While he was in Cologne he heard news of the Three Days’ Revolution in Paris so hastened home instead of on to Strasbourg as he had intended (see Katharine Sim, David Roberts R.A., 1984, p.50). Watercolours of the Tomb of the Three Kings in Cologne Cathedral are in the Harris Museum, Preston and the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester.


    The construction of Cologne Cathedral started in 1248 and was halted in 1473, leaving it unfinished. Work restarted in 1842 and was completed, to the original plan, in 1880.

  • Oberwesel on the Rhine, Germany -

    Signed lower right: D. Roberts/1831

    Watercolour heightened with bodycolour, scratching out and gum arabic

    21.2 by 31.1 cm., 8 ½ by 12 ¼ in.



    With Thos. Agnew & Sons, London (no.2380);

    With Walker's Galleries, London;

    With Guy Peppiatt Fine Art, 2016;

    Private Collection, UK



    Guy Peppiatt Fine Art, British Drawings and Watercolours, exhibition catalogue, 2016, p.33, no.29, ill.



    London, Guy Peppiatt Fine Art, British Drawings and Watercolours, May to June 2016, no.29



    By E. Goodall as a steel engraving, 1831


    Roberts visited Oberwesel on his trip down the Rhine in the summer of 1830. He was in Cologne on 29th July and went as far south as Heidelberg. Oberwesel is a town on the Middle Rhine about 25 miles south of Koblenz. The tower in the foreground, the Ochsenturm or `Ox's Tower' has an octagonal top tower and is part of the town walls originally built in the early thirteenth century with sixteen defensive towers. On the hill beyond is the Schönburg, a castle originally built in the twelfth century.

  • Tower of the Chapter-House, Cathedral of Burgos, Spain -

    Signed lower left: David Roberts 1836. BURGOS

    Watercolour over pencil heightened with bodycolour and gum arabic

    40.4 by 26.9 cm., 15 ? by 10 ? inches



    With Spinks, London;

    Private Collection, UK until 2011



    By W. Wallis for The Landscape Annual and published by Robert Jennings & Co., 28th October 1836


    This shows the Capilla del Condestable at the north-east end of Burgos Cathedral and dates from Roberts? visit there in December 1832. A watercolour of Burgos Cathedral dated 10th December 1832 was sold at Sotheby?s on 8th December 2005, lot 232 for ?14,400. A fully finished version of that view is in the British Museum.

  • The Giralda, Seville -

    Watercolour over pencil heightened with bodycolour on grey paper

    35 by 24.5 cm., 13 ? by 9 ? inches



    Anonymous sale, Sotheby?s 3rd April 1996, lot 195;

    With Spinks, London;

    Private collection, London, until 2011


    Roberts arrived in Seville in May 1833 and stayed until September when an outbreak of cholera caused him to leave. He was impressed by the city. He wrote to his friend D.R. Hay on 4th May: `[I] found myself on the following morning in fair Seville, which far exceeds my most sanguine expectations?.. The cathedral ?.. is one of the most picturesque and magnificent structures in the world. To see the Moorish tower alone is worth a journey from London.? This was a favourite view of Roberts?s  -  a large oil taken from this viewpoint is in the collection of Downside school (see Helen Guiterman and Briony Llewellyn, David Roberts, exhibition catalogue, 1986, no.104, ill. P.46).


    The Giralda tower in Seville was a former minaret, originally built in 1198.  It is said that when the Christians reconquered Seville from the Moors in 1248, they did not have the heart to destroy the minaret because it was so beautiful.  It was converted into a bell tower in 1568 with an additional bell enclosure and statue added to the top for the new cathedral that had begun construction in the previous century.  Beyond the tower and cathedral, across the Plaza del Triunfo, the white walls of the Alcazar can be seen.  Originally a Moorish fort, it was a Royal Palace and the upper levels are still used by the royal family as their official Seville residence.

  • The Opening of New London Bridge, 1831 -

    Watercolour over pencil heightened with bodycolour

    6.4 by 16.7 cm., 2 ½ by 6 ½ in.

    In 1799, a competition was held to design a bridge to replace the old London Bridge which was over 600 years old. The completion was won by John Rennie (1761-1821) who planned a bridge of five stone arches. Work began after Rennie’s death in 1824 under the supervision of his son, with the bridge being sited 100 feet upstream of the old bridge which was knocked down after the new bridge opened.

    The present watercolour shows the official opening by King William IV and Queen Adelaide on 1st August 1831. The Times described the ceremony as ‘the most splendid spectacle that has been witnessed on the Thames for many years’. This view is taken from the south bank of the Thames, looking towards north towards the tower of the Monument and the church of St. Magnus. The royal standard can be seen flying from the huge pavilion erected at the north end of the bridge where a banquet was held. The royal party had embarked at Somerset House and processed to the bridge between a line of boats and barges. The King disembarked at 4pm and walked up red-carpeted stairs to the pavilion.

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