This watercolor was painted in March 1842 during a visit to the Sinai. It was in the course of this expedition that Lewis made the preparatory studies for one of his most celebrated works, A Frank Encampment in the Desert of Mount Sinai, a commission for Lord Castlereagh which was not completed until 1856. It is clear that Lewis used this particular sketch for other more completely finished watercolors, such as A Halt in the Desert (fig. 1). The figures and the camel appear in other more finished works, indicating that the artist was particularly pleased with the composition.