Born in Edinburgh 1796 Roberts worked as a scenery painter for the Theatre Royal. Roberts' work consists largely of topographical paintings, visual records of his travels which satisfied a public curiosity about distant lands and Biblical landmarks. These he depicted in watercolour, uniting faithful precision of perspective with a romantic sensitivity in the rendering of local life. The collection of Spanish urban and waterscapes were published in the first English guide book to Spain in 1845 though his images were also enjoyed by a Royal clientele. Roberts' travels took him further to Egypt, an ambitious journey for a British artist at that time. The popularity amongst the British of the material he accumulated there exceeded all expectation and these prints continue to attract much attention today.