David Roberts

Scottish painter, 1796-1864
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David Roberts oil paintings
David Roberts : A View In Cairo
picture ID 33477-Roberts_Daid_A_View_In_Cairo.jpg
David Roberts : The Forum Rome
picture ID 33478-Roberts_Daid_The_Forum_Rome.jpg
David Roberts : Moorish Tower On The Bridge At Cordiva
picture ID 33479-Roberts_David_Moorish_Tower_On_The_Bridge_At_Cordiva.jpg
David Roberts : St Pauls from the Thames Looking West
picture ID 33481-Roberts_David_St_Pauls_from_the_Thames_Looking_West.jpg
David Roberts : The Approach To The Forum
picture ID 33482-Roberts_David_The_Approach_To_The_Forum.jpg
David Roberts : Tower Of Comares Alhambra Granada
picture ID 33483-Roberts_David_Tower_Of_Comares_Alhambra_Granada.jpg
David Roberts : The Gateway of the Great Temple at Baalbec
picture ID 33484-The_Gateway_of_the_Great_Temple_at_Baalbec.jpg
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Biography
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David Roberts RA (24 October 1796 - 25 November 1864) was a Scottish painter. He is especially known for a prolific series of detailed prints of Egypt and the Near East that he produced during the 1840s from sketches he made during long tours of the region (1838-1840). This work, and his large oil paintings of similar subjects, made him a prominent Orientalist painter. He was elected as a Royal Academician in 1841. David Roberts was born at Stockbridge, Edinburgh. At the age of 10, he was apprenticed by his father, a shoemaker, for seven years to a house painter and decorator named Gavin Beugo. During this time he studied art in the evenings. His first paid job came in 1815, when he moved to Perth for a year to work as a decorator. In 1816, the Pantheon Theatre in Edinburgh took him on as a stage designer's assistant; this was the beginning of his career as a painter and designer of stage scenery. In 1819, he became the scene painter at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow. There Roberts met the Scottish actress Margaret McLachlan, said to be the illegitimate daughter of a Highland gypsy girl and a clan chief. They married in 1820, "for pure love". Although the marriage did not last long, it produced Roberts' only daughter, Christine, who was born 1821. Although he was making a living from scene painting, it was around this time that Roberts began to produce oil paintings seriously. In 1820, he became friends with the artist William Clarkson Stanfield, then painting at the Pantheon in Edinburgh. In 1821, the Fine Arts Institution of Edinburgh accepted three of Roberts's paintings — views of Melrose and Dryburgh abbeys) — two of which sold. At Stanfield's suggestion, Roberts also sent three pictures to the 1822 Exhibition of Works by Living Artists, held in Edinburgh.

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