Saudi public library reveals rare 19th century book

 A fan of books or not, anyone would be intrigued by a rare 19th-century book with very few copies made in its lifetime. 

A 190 years old book made all the way back in the 19th century by the renowned British artist, David Roberts, has been unveiled at the King Abdulaziz Public Library in Riyadh.

The book, of which only 30 copies were made of, features 26 lithograph-printed and hand-colored paintings by Roberts, showcasing famous landmarks of Andalusia in Spain that he visited in 1832-1833.

19th century


The pages are between 38 and 53 cm in size, while the paintings mostly document Arab-Islamic monuments and palaces in Andalusia, including vivid, stunning images of the Granada and the Alhambra Palace as well as intricate details of Islamic architectural inscriptions.

The leather-bound book was acquired by the public library in 1997 from the library of King Don Carlos I of Portugal and has gilded decorations and polished edges.

David Roberts, whose style was easy to recognize, was one of the most prominent British painters of the 19th century. He toured Egypt and Syria and published a six-volume book, three of which were drawings in Egypt, and three were paintings in Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Jordan.

Related Articles

Back to top button