This is a lithograph, English, probably printed in the late 1840s. The painter is David Roberts, and the lithographer is Louis Haghe, from Belgium. The print is framed, and the framing is probably 20th century.
The print is unnumbered. It is signed by both artists within the litho, not as a separate, original signature (see photos). It appears to be on thin paper and the print is about 13x19 inches, two characteristics which make me think it is authentic. This print is a part of a series sold by Roberts and Haghe, by subscription, to an audience of rich collectors. The prints were very expensive at the time, and only wealthy persons could afford to obtain them.
Prior to the full spread of photography, which was just starting at the time, paintings and lithography and similar, hand-drawn art, were the means by which intellectually curious persons could know something about the appearance of the wider world.
The series from which this print comes is "Egypt and the Nile," one of two series produced by this team in the 1840s. The litho is extremely beautiful, with masterful detail. Roberts, the painter, produced color sketches from his travels. From those sketches Haghe transcribed the subject to a limestone surface, drawing in mirror image to the sketch. Prints were then pulled from the surface of the stone and sent to those who had subscribed. Although not numbered, there are estimates that perhaps 1000 to 1500 of the prints of each painting were made. This process took about six years, from the first print in the series to the last.
The subscribers--the buyers--would collect all the prints, and usually have them bound into volumes. This series of about 450 prints would be bound into three volumes, presumably to occupy a prestigious spot in the library of a large Victorian estate. Some of the prints, however, were not bound, and some of the bound sets have since been broken up into separate prints, and sold sheet-by-sheet. Presumably this print comes to us from some such source.
And presumably the print is authentic, as said earlier, but it is not certain. We are not experts here; we only know what we like. And this we like. The print is really beautiful. It appears to be a two-color litho, with hand-coloring added after printing. The print itself looks to be in excellent condition, but the frame has some chips and wear, and otherwise looks used, but serviceable, as befits a notable piece of antique art. It is covered in glass.
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