David Roberts, a British artist, born at Stockbridge, near Edinburgh, Oct. 24, 1796, died in London, Nov. 25, 1864. In early life he was a house painter, and upon removing to London in 1821 he devoted himself for several years to scene painting. In 1832-3 he visited Spain, and upon his return published a volume of lithographic copies of " Picturesque Sketches in Spain" (1837). In 1838-'9, during a tour through Syria and Egypt and other eastern countries, he made a number of drawings, published as " The Holy Land, Syria, Idumaea, Arabia, Egypt, and Nubia" (4 vols. fol., 1842-'8). In 1841 he was elected a royal academician, and subsequently produced a number of views of celebrated places, with architectural and other accessories, including "Ruins of the Great Temple of Karnak," "Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives," "Rome," "Interior of the Cathedral at Burgos," "The Chancel of the Collegiate Church of St. Paul at Antwerp," etc. His works also include such subjects as the "Destruction of Jerusalem," and the "Inauguration of the Exhibition of all Nations," painted for the queen.
At his death he left in his studio 73 oil paintings and sketches and 800 water-color pieces, which were exhibited in 1865 and subsequently sold for £16,000. - See "Life of David Roberts, R. A.," by James Ballantine, illustrated with sketches by the artist (4to, Edinburgh, 1866).