Portico of the Temple of Bacchus, Baalbec

WAG 8167


This sketch probably relates to two other works by Roberts; a painting and a lithograph. The painting, 'Remains of the Portico of the Lesser Temple of Baalbec', was exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in London in 1840. It is now owned by the Walker Art Gallery. The lithograph appeared in volume II of Roberts' 'The Holy Land: Syri, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt and Nubia', 1842 - 1849. The print was made by Louis Haghe (1806 - 1855) and dated 1 August 1843. The Walker's watercolour only differs from the painting and lithograph in the figures and minor details. Two accounts by Roberts of his journey to Baalbec exist, one in manuscript, and the other published by James Ballantine (1806 - 1877) in his book 'The Life of David Roberts R.A', published in 1866. Roberts arrived at Baalbec on 2 May 1839 and left on the 8th, after having 'completed a number of drawings'. Ballantine refers to Roberts making finished drawings from his sketches for publication between 1842 and 1844. This watercolour is inscribed 'May 6th 1839' but it is probable that at least the figures in this watercolour were inserted after his return from the East.