Louis Haghe, Cana, a lithograph after a watercolour by David Roberts

Published AD 1842

Plate 33 from The Holy Land (1842) Vol. I, part of the larger series The Holy Land, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt and Nubia (1842-49)

David Roberts (1796-1864) was the first artist to travel to the Near East without a patron or in connection with a military expedition. His watercolours from the tour (1838-9) were reproduced as lithographs by the Belgian printmaker Louis Haghe (1806-1885). These prints raised the standards of early lithography to new heights by showing how well the medium could achieve painterly effects in colour. Haghe chose only to hand colour the rich oriental costumes of the foreground figures. Originally published in parts, the series of 247 prints were later bound as six volumes under the title The Holy Land, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt and Nubia (1842-49).

Roberts was clearly impressed by arriving at Cana - the site of the miracle preformed by Jesus of turning water into wine (John II:1-11). He wrote that 'on entering the village we were shown the fountain from whence the water was taken! It was limpid and pure as crystal'. The original watercolour was painted on 21 April 1839, towards the end of his tour, and is now in the Bury Art Gallery and Museum, near Manchester.

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More information


H. Guiterman and B. Llewellyn (ed.), David Roberts (London, Barbican Art Gallery, 1986)

W.D. Davis and others, Jerusalem and the Holy Land re (Durham, North Carolina, Duke University Museum of Art, 1996)


Height: 483.000 mm
Width: 320.000 mm

Museum number

PD 1915-7-6-94



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