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

    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

     

    Provenance:

    With Spinks, London;

    Private Collection, UK until 2011

     

    Engraved:

    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 -
    Sold

    Watercolour over pencil heightened with bodycolour on grey paper

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

     

    Provenance:

    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.

  • Dryburgh Abbey, Scotland -
    Sold

    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

     

    Provenance:

    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 -
    Sold

    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.

     

    Provenance:

    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 -
    Sold

    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.

     

    Provenance:

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

    With Walker's Galleries, London

     

    Engraved:

    By E. Goodall as a steel engraving, 1831

     

    Roberts visited Oberwesel on his trip down the Rhine in the summer of 1830 (see note to no.28). 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.

Thumbnail panels:
Now Loading