ROBERTS, David (1796-1864, artist) and George CROLY (1780-1860). The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt & Nubia. London: F.G. Moon, 1842-1849. 3 volumes, 2o (607 x 437 mm). Mounted lithographic frontispiece portrait of Roberts on india paper by and after C. Baugniet, hand-colored lithographic titles, 120 plates finely colored and finished by hand and mounted on card, all by L. Haghe after Roberts, (and one duplicate plate) engraved map. (Title for the third volume and the map supplied [see note below], some occasional light foxing and spotting mostly to mounts, minor marginal dust soiling, a few leaves becoming loose, lacks descriptive text for title pages.) 19th-century red morocco by Webb, elaborately gilt (spines rebacked, some light staining, extremities rubbed and scuffed). FIRST EDITION OF THE HAND-COLORED ISSUE OF ROBERTS' MONUMENTAL WORK ON SYRIA, IDUMEA AND ARABIA, part of Roberts' Holy Land, but published separately. "One of the most important and elaborate ventures of nineteenth-century publishing, and... the apotheosis of the tinted lithograph" (Abbey p. 341). It is masterfully illustrated by Louis Haghe's lithography, of which Roberts wrote, "Haghe has not only surpassed himself, but all that has hitherto been done of a similar nature. He has rendered the views in a style clear, simple and unlaboured, with a masterly vigour and boldness which none but a painter like him could have transferred to stone." After an apprenticeship to the Scottish house-painter, Gavin Buego, Roberts became assistant scene painter at the Pantheon theater in Edinburgh. He continued scene painting in Glasgow and finally, in 1821, was hired to work with Clarkson Stanfield at the Drury Lane theatre in London. Both artists exhibited at the Society of British Artists, Royal Academy and British Institution, and by 1830 Roberts was firmly established as a topographical artist and was able to give up his work in the theatre. In these early years he toured the Continent and Scotland, and in 1832-33 visited Spain, the result of which was his Picturesque Sketches in Spain (1837). In 1838 he made plans for a journey to the Near East, inspired by his passion for artistic adventure. He departed in August 1839 for Alexandria and spent the remainder of the year in Cairo and visiting the major tombs and sites of Egypt. The following February he journeyed to the Holy Land, making stops in Suez, Mount Sinai and Petra. He spent time in Gaza before entering Jerusalem and concluded his tour by spending several months visiting the biblical sites of the Holy Land. Roberts returned to England at the end of 1839 and submitted his drawings to F. G. Moon in 1840. Moon arranged to bring out a volume of Scripture history, paying Roberts 3,000 pounds for the copyright of the sketches and for overseeing Haghe's efforts. The Holy Land was originally published in 3 states: tinted, with tinted proofs, and colored and mounted on card (as here). It was issued in 20 parts between January 1842 and the end of 1845 "containing all the plates listed [in Abbey] but not the map, and not in the same order. There were two title-pages only" (Abbey). This might explain why the above copy is bound in a different order than the Abbey copy and why the title for the third volume and the map seem to be supplied from another copy. Abbey, Travel 385; Tooley 401.