The Destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans under the Command of Titus, A.D. 70

Lithographer Louis Haghe Belgian
After David Roberts British, Scottish
Publisher Hering and Remington, London British

Not on view

Roberts here shows us Jerusalem sacked by Roman armies in A.D. 70. In the right foreground, soldiers mass on hilltop with prisoners and booty. In the valley below, additional troops ford a river and breach the walls. Jerusalem is represented as a huge classical city crowned by columned classical buildings. The Jewish temple at left sits within extensive courtyards crossed by hurrying figures. Clouds of smoke rise from a raging fire that consumes the city at right to obscure much of the sky. This enormous color lithograph by Louis Haghe was published in 1850-51, based on Roberts's painting of 1848 which measured 14 by 9 feet (location unknown). The latter had toured England and Wales for a year to raise subscriptions for the print which, at 42 by 27 inches was one of the largest yet made, an impressive feat of color printing that involved the use of multiple stones. The city's appearance here is largely imagined, but Roberts was familiar with the surrounding terrain and the city walls from his 1838-39 trip to Egypt, Syria and the Holy Land. After returning to England he painted 237 watercolors, lithographed by Haghe and published 1842-49. The success of that series enabled the present image which evokes Jerusalem's history at its most dramatic.

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