Middle East and Egypt - Richad C. Moore Sketches

Perhaps the greatest travel painter of all time was David Roberts, a Scotsman who traveled to Egypt and the Holy Lands in 1838 into 1839.  He returned with a remarkable collection of paintings which were lithographed by Louis Haghe, perhaps the finest lithographer of that century, and published in a massive work that is still immensely popular in Egypt and Israel.  I have` long admired his work and desired to travel in his footsteps.  A tour to Egypt and Jordan in 2001 afforded me the opportunity to do some small watercolors along the way---and it was a great thrill for me! 


The incredible rock cut temple of Rameses II on the Nile in Nubia.  An international effort saved this temple from the rising waters of Lake Nasser due to the new Aswan High Dam.

Abu Simbel, Nubia Egypt - Watercolor Painting by Richard Moore


The facade of the propylon from the row of sphinxes.  I got up early for this one, for the sun was only right early in the morning.  What a thrill!  I virtually had the place to myself---something that rarely happens around the great Egyptian monuments.

Watercolor Painting of Temple of Luxor Row of Sphinxes, Egypt


Sitting on the sidewalk with my back to the Nile, I sketched some of the great columns of Luxor, together with the back of the propylon.  A number of people stopped by to look over my shoulder, including a film crew that included me in their production

Watercolor Painting of Temple of Luxor's Great Columns, Egypt


I could not stop painting this great temple!  I would probably still be there if my tour had not moved on.  The sun began to set before I finished this painting, so some of the color was accomplished after I returned to my hotel room.

Watercolor Painting of Temple of Luxor at Sunset, Egypt


The largest temple in the world, constructed by a number of pharaohs over a period of centuries.  I did not realize it at the time, but David Roberts had sat in virtually the same spot for one of his paintings.  He probably sat alone.  I was surrounded by hundreds of awestruck tourists.

Watercolor Painting of the Karnak Temple


I remember this little painting with amusement.  I set my folding stool in what I thought would be a private corner of this great hall of columns.  As it turned out, the spot proved to be the main stopping point for one tour group after another.  The sketch was accomplished between tour groups.

Watercolor Painting of the Karnak Temple Hall of Columns


It is worth a trip to Jordan to see the “Rose Red City” of Petra, built by the Nabateans prior to the Roman period and later extended by the Romans.  This incredible facade is carved out of solid rock


Watercolor Painting of Petra, Jordan


This arch is at the entrance to the Roman city of Jerash in Jordan. Jerash is not as well known as Ephesus in Turkey, but rivals that city in extent and preservation.  This sketch worked quickly and simply.

Watercolor Painting of Hadrian's Arch in Jerash, Jordan


We stayed at the Mena House Oberoi Hotel at the foot of the pyramids of Khufu and Khafre.  I did this sketch sitting on a fire escape landing of the hotel early in the cool February morning, after which I had breakfast while gazing at these unbelievable structures.

Watercolor Painting of the Pyramids of Giza, Egypt


When David Roberts painted Kom Ombo, it was still half covered with sand.  Now fully excavated, this Egyptian temple is impressive and beautiful on its site overlooking the Nile.  The interior carvings and paintings are exquisite.

Watercolor Painting of Kom Ombo Temple, Egypt


Copyright Richard C. Moore,  All rights reserved