Henry Salt was born and educated in Lichfield, Staffordshire. He studied under watercolourist John Glover, before moving to London in 1797 and becoming a pupil of landscape painter Joseph Farington and portraitist John Hoppner. In 1802 he made an Eastern tour of India and Ceylon as secretary and draughtsman to British peer and politician George Annesley, Viscount Valentia. They returned via Ethiopia and Egypt, arriving back in England in 1806. In 1809 Salt was sent to Abyssinia on a mission to deliver gifts and report back to the British government. He returned in 1811. Four years later he was appointed Consul General in Egypt and while there devoted himself to the study and excavation of antiquities. He died near Alexandria, aged just 47.
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