David Roberts was born is Scotland in 1796. After moving to London, he achieved a respectable reputation as an artist prior to 1838 when he traveled to Egypt and the Holy Land to paint the monuments, architecture and people. Upon his return to England, his works were published (in conjunction with the lithographer Louis Haghe) in a six volume set, in which all 248 lithographs were hand colored. The first three volumes depicted Egypt and Nubia; the second three, the Holy Land. The set, which was sold by subscription, was an immediate success. Roberts was admitted to the Royal Academy and he continued to travel and paint until his death in 1864.
After more than 150 years his paintings are still the most beloved and popular illustrations of Egypt and are highly sought after by collectors.