Afbeeldingen van het Heilige Land bestaande uit veertig gezigten

Author: Bernatz, J.M. & Dr. G.H. von Schubert
Year: 1839
Edition: First edition
Publisher: Amsterdam: Johannes Müller
Category: The Levant

Oblong folio (30 x 44 cm), unpaginated, consisting of 40 numbered lithographed plates, including a folding panorama of the Sinai, numbered 6-8, all very attractively coloured by hand, a vignette which has been coloured by hand as well opposite the title page, plus one uncoloured plan. Most plates are accompanied by one page of descriptive letterpress. The reverse side of the plates is blank, the reverse side of the text pages as well, with the exception only in a very few instances where the accompanying text takes more than one page.

Handsome modern calf over marbled boards. Flat spine, gilt ruled in six compartments, with the titles in gilt in the second and third compartment. Very generous margins. Some unobtrusive, very light staining in the upper, far out  fore margin of some plates towards the end, but overall internally an exceptionally clean copy.

This book was originally published in Stuttgart by Steinkopf in the same year with in total the same 40 (i.e. 41) plates. Sometimes, when looking for library resources, 4 volumes are mentioned. However, the 3 volumes of 'Reise in das Morgenland' by Von Schubert alone were already published the year before and are not to be considered a part of this publication.
For this edition the text by Von Schubert was translated into Dutch, while the original stones of the German edition have been used, hence the captions under the plates are in German. What makes this Dutch edition more attractive than the original German edition is the paper format. Although the lithographs are the same, the Dutch edition has been printed and bound as a folio edition, resulting in much wider margins. The size of the German quarto edition is about 25 x 32 cm, so quite obviously much smaller than this edition.
These first editions in German and Dutch only were available with (black and white) lithographs. The later editions which appeared from 1842 onwards, though in various smaller formats, were available with tinted and/or chromolithographs as well. In these later editions the accompanying texts for the first time were printed in English and French too.

Despite the title, only 23 of the 40 plates depict places in the “Holy Land” (Palestine), including a spectacular view in the evening sun on Jerusalem (may-be one of the most beautiful colour pictures ever published on early 19th century Jerusalem [pict. #21]). The other 17 plates depict places like Heliopolis, Ephesus, Damascus, etc.

List of plates: (All shown here below.)

Vignette frontispiece
01 - Ephesus
02 - Sardis
03 - Smyrna
04 - Heliopolis
05 - Mount Sinai
06 ~ 08 - Panorama Sinai
09 - St Catharine's Monastery
10 - El Erbain
11 - Bostan Valley
12 - Petra
13 - Mount Hor
14 - Hebron
15 - Mosque in Hebron
16 - Jerusalem from the East
17 - Jerusalem from the North-East
18 - Church of the Holy Sepulchre
19 - Plan of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
20 - Fortress of David at Zion
21 - Jerusalem from the South
22 - Pool of Bethesda
23 - Kidron Valley
24 - Bethlehem
25 - Bethany
26 - King Solomon's Garden
27 - St. John in the Desert
28 - Mar Saba in the Kidron Valley
29 - Joseph's Tomb at Shechem
30 - Ruins of Samaria
31 - Mount Tabor
32 - Nazareth
33 - Mount Carmel
34 - Cana
35 - Tiberias
36 - Jacob Bridge across the River Jordan
37 - Magdala
38 - Damascus
39 - Baalbek
40 - Patmos
41  - Monastery of Saint John at Patmos

Johann Martin Bernatz and Gotthilf Heinrich von Schubert travelled in the Levant during the years 1836-37. Von Schubert first published his account of these travels in 1838 under the title ‘Reise in das Morgenland’, followed by this book in 1839 with the lithographs after Bernatz.
Bernatz was a well known 19th century landscape and architectural painter, appreciated most because of the preciseness of detail with which he drew his pictures.

Copies of the large oblong 1839 quarto edition are scarce and copies of the folio editon are rare, but those with hand-coloured plates are extremely rare; RBH and ABPC combined only show 2 copies: one copy was sold by Sotheby's at their sale of 24th October 1996 and another one (this copy) was sold by Bloomsbury Auctions at their sale of November 1st, 2007. No other copies with the lithographs coloured by hand, either of this Dutch edition or of the German edition, ever appeared at another auction. This copy, apart from the minor flaws mentioned above, is in a fine condition.

A handsome copy with the lithographs exquisitely coloured by hand and thus extremely rare.

Blackmer 1510 (for the German edition).

Click on a picture to enlarge.