View in Egypt
The back of this watercolour is inscribed 'on the Lake [?] Moreotis', which could be a mis-spelling of Lake Moeris, an ancient lake southwest of Cairo. Robert Tonge was an important landscape artist of the Liverpool School at the beginning of the Pre-Raphaelite era. He was influential in persuading William Davis to take to landscape. They travelled together to Ireland and painted around Leixlip and Dublin. He used to attend John Miller's Saturday evening parties where local Liverpool artists would meet and show their work in the company of the London-based Pre-Raphaelites, such as William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Ford Madox Brown. Tonge usually worked outdoors both in oils and watercolours in the style of Pre-Raphaelites, often finishing his work on the spot. His low horizontal composition allowed him to show his skill in painting skies. He suffered from consumption from an early age and travelled to Egypt in 1853, in search of a better climate. He died there three years later.