• Toski on the Nile, Egypt -
    Price on request

    Inscribed lower left: Toske. 4 5. p.m. and numbered 401 lower right

    Pen and brown ink and watercolour

    6.2 by 17.5cm, 2 1/4 by 6 3/4 inches


    This dates from Lear’s third trip to Egypt in the winter of 1866-67. He left Cairo with his servant Giorgio and they met Lear’s Canadian cousin Archie Jones at Luxor. They reached the southern-most point of their journey on 4th February at Abu Seer and the present watercolour dates from 10th February 1867 on their return. Toske or Toski is on the Nile between Abu Simbel (which Lear visited on 8th February) and the rock temple Derr (11th February) and was the site of a battle in the Sudan War on 3rd August 1889.


    Other watercolours executed at Toski are in the collection of the National Gallery of Scotland (annotated ‘2.30-2.45pm’ and numbered 398) and were with the Fine Art Society in 1970 (numbered 393) and with the Leger Galleries in 1987 (‘2-2.30pm’ and numbered 397). A further view taken at Toski, numbered 389, was sold at Christie’s on 21st November 2001, lot 60 for £10,575.




  • Geneva from Petit Saconnex, Switzerland -
    Price on request

    Inscribed lower right: Geneva from Petit Saconnex and dated lower centre: Sept. 8. 1837

    pencil heightened with white on grey paper, with cut corners

    16.5 by 25cm, 6 1/2 by 9 3/4 inches

     

    This drawing dates from Lear?s fi rst major journey abroad, undertaken with the financial backing of his patrons Lord Derby and Robert Hornby. He left for Italy at the end of July 1837 with his sister Ann, passing through Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Switzerland before spending September and October in the Italian Lakes, reaching Florence in November and Rome in early December. For most of the next ten years, Lear spent his winters in Rome and visited the rest of Italy in the summer.

     

    Petit Saconnex is a suburb to the north-west of Geneva. To the left Lake Geneva is visible with the spires of the Cathedral of St Peter in the distance. Another view of Geneva by Lear, also dated 8th September 1837, is in the Houghton Library, Harvard College. A number of drawings from this tour have similarly cut corners (see Scott Wilcox, Edward Lear and the Art of Travel, 2000, p.54, no.15)

     

    Provenance:

    Anonymous sale, Sotheby?s 13th March 1986, lot 145;

    Private Collection until 2007

  • A market, Koblenz -
    Price on request

    Inscribed upper left: ..blenz. 1837./August 12. and inscribed with H lower right

    pencil heightened with white on grey paper, with corners cut

    16.9 by 25.8cm., 6? by 10 inches

     

    Koblenz is a large town sitting at the confluence of the Mosel and the Rhine. Lear travelled north-east up the Mosel from Luxembourg to Koblenz then south down the Rhine

  • View from the Hotel Reale, Varenna, Lake Como -
    Price on request

    Extensively inscribed lower left: Hotel Reale/(Marcioni) (Daisy)/Varenna/Lago di Como/21. Augt. 1878/11.30. AM/wonderful Oleanders

    Pen and brown ink and watercolour over pencil

    32.9 by 49.8 cm., 12 ¾ by 19 ½ inches

     

    Provenance:

    Ray Livingston Murphy, his sale, Christie’s, 19th November 1985, lot 74;

    Private Collection, New York

     

    In March 1871, Lear moved into the Villa Emily, San Remo, Italy, where he was to remain for the rest of his life. In July 1878, he visited Monte Generoso, Switzerland where he continued to go almost every summer until 1883. In August, the date of the present work, he travelled down to Lake Como to see his friend Marianne North who has just returned from India. A watercolour made the previous day, 20th August is illustrated in Philip Hofer, Edward Lear as Landscape Draughtsman, 1967, no. 87. Lear’s illustrations to Tennyson’s The Daisy include `Lago di Como, from Varenna’, no. 175 (‘One tall Agave above the Lake’) and `Varenna, Lago di Como’, no. 176 (`That Fair Port’). A view of Monte Generoso dated 10th and 14th August 1878 was sold at Christie’s on 3rd July 2012, lot 160 for £11,250.

  • The Campagna di Roma -
    Price on request

    Signed lower right and inscribed lower left: Campagna di Roma/Feby 17. 1844
    Watercolour heightened with touches of white on grey paper
    4.2 by 8.9 cm., 1 1/2 by 3 1/2 in.

    provenance:
    John Scandrett Harford (1787-1866);
    By descent until 2015
  • The Tor San Giovanni or Torre Salaria near Rome -
    Price on request

    Signed lower right and inscribed lower left:  Tor S. Giovanni/Feby. 1844

    Pen and brown ink and watercolour heightened with touches of white on grey laid paper

    7.9 by 11.9 cm., 3 by 4 ½ in.

     

    Provenance:

    John Scandrett Harford (1787-1866);

    By descent until 2015

     

    This is view of the Tor san Giovanni, also known as the Torre Salaria, which is located north of the old city of Rome on the Via Salaria, where the Aniene joins the River Tiber.  This medieval watch-tower was built on top of an ancient Roman tomb carved out of tufa known as Sepolcro di Mario, after Marius, the leader of a faction in the First Roman Civil War.  Once a landmark on the empty Roman landscape, the tower, which still stands, has been enveloped by the spread of modern Rome.

  • The Farmhouse of Buon Ricovero near Rome -
    Price on request

    Signed lower right and inscribed lower left:  Buon Ricovero/Novbr 29. 1843.

    Watercolour heightened with touches of white on grey paper

    8.1 by 13.7 cm., 3 by 5 ¼ in.

     

    Provenance:

    John Scandrett Harford (1787-1866);

    By descent until 2015

     

    Buon Ricovero is the name of a large farmhouse to the right of the Via Cassia, about seven miles from the centre of Rome, not far from La Giustiniana.

  • Antrodoco -
    Price on request

    Signed lower left: E Lear del. 1846 and inscribed with title lower right

    Black chalk heightened with white on blue paper

    12.5 by 17.8 cm., 4 ¾ by 7 in.

     

    Provenance:

    John Scandrett Harford (1787-1866);

    By descent until 2015

     

    Lear visited Antrodoco on 5th and 6th August 1843. A view of Antrodoco was engraved for Illustrated Excursions in Italy, 1846, pl.14.

     

    All the triple-armed valley of Antrodoco is full of grand scenery; but it is so threatened and walled-in by lofty mountains, as to be, to my feeling, oppressive in character. The town itself has a very Swiss look….. It contains no object of interest, and is sufficiently gloomy….. its castle, now a ruin, frowns in decay, from a huge rock immediately above the clustered dwellings.’ (p.51).

  • Trasacco -
    Price on request

    Signed lower left: E. Lear del. 1844. and inscribed with title lower right

    Black chalk and pencil heightened with white on buff paper, with corners cut

    13.5 by 21.7 cm., 5 ¼ by 8 ½ in.

     

    Provenance:

    John Scandrett Harford (1787-1866);

    By descent until 2015

     

    Engraved:

    By J. Whimper for Edward Lear’s Illustrated Excursions in Italy, 1846, pl.6, facing p.22

     

    Trasacco sits on the south side of Lake Fucino. Lear records: `Trasacco, the Transaqua of old, now a small town of seven hundred and fifty inhabitants, seems to have no claim to antiquity of origin, beyond its having been built on the site of a palace of Claudius…… But what pleased me most at Trasacco was a view near a curious but picturesque old tower, square at its base, and round at top, over-looking all the wide Lake, with the distant Velino beyond.’

     

    The engraving differs slights from this drawing with shepherd and sheep on the rock in the lower right corner.

  • Pizzoferrato -
    Price on request

    Signed lower right: E. Lear del. 1844. and inscribed with title lower left

    Black chalk and pencil heightened with white on buff paper, with corners cut

    13.6 by 26.2 cm., 5 ¼ by 10 ¼ in.

     

    Provenance:

    John Scandrett Harford (1787-1866);

    By descent until 2015

     

    Engraved:

    By J. Whimper for Edward Lear’s Illustrated Excursions in Italy, 1846, pl.26, facing p.98

     

    Lear visited Pizzoferrato on 22nd and 23rd September 1843:

    `Towards noon, a long and bare ascent, brought us to Pizzo-ferrato, (in the province of Chieti, or Abruzzo Citeriore,) when we were glad to take shelter during a violent storm of hail and thunder. It is a most romantic village, at the foot of an isolated rock crowned by a convent; nothing can be wilder or less interesting than the treeless country immediately around this place, nor more superb than the endless view over ridges of purple hills crowned by little towns, forming as it were, a continuous plain down to the shores of the Adriatic.’ (op. cit., p.99).

  • The Church of Santa Maria at Luco -
    Price on request

    Signed lower right: E. Lear del. 1844. and inscribed lower left: Santa Maria di Luco

    Black chalk and pencil heightened with white on buff paper, with corners cut

    9.1 by 19.6 cm., 3 ½ by 7 ¾ in.

     

    Provenance:

    John Scandrett Harford (1787-1866);

    By descent until 2015

     

    Engraved:

    For Edward Lear’s Illustrated Excursions in Italy, 1846, pl.5

     

    The Church Santa Maria, built on part of these ancient walls, is also of great antiquity; having been given to the Benedictines by Doda, Contessa de’ Marsi in 930. The Lucus or Grove of Ancizia or Augitiae, from which the modern town derives his name, I looked for in vain… …. we were well pleased with the beautiful view of the Lake, and group of Alba and Velino, now diminished by distance, yet forming a fine back-ground to the picturesque church and walls.’ (op. cit., p.21).

  • The Abbey of  Santo Spirito at Sulmona -
    Price on request

    Signed lower right: E. Lear del. 1844. and inscribed lower left: Abbadai di S. Spirito

    Black chalk, pencil and stump heightened with white on buff paper, with corners cut

    8.6 by 15.1 cm., 3 ¼ by 5 ¾ in.

     

    Provenance:

    John Scandrett Harford (1787-1866);

    By descent until 2015

     

    Engraved:

    By J. Whimper for Edward Lear’s Illustrated Excursions in Italy, 1846, vignette no.9, p.30

     

    The Abbey of Santo Spirito stands about five kilometres outside the town of Sulmona at the base of Monte Morrone. The present monastery was built in the early 18th century after an earthquake all but destroyed the original 13th century building.

     

    `Below the solitary hermitage is the Monastery of S. Spirito, founded by Pope Celestino V, but now used as a poor-house for the three Abruzzi. It is a picturesque edifice, some distance from the high-road; and its tall Campanile is seen all over the Pianura of Solmona’ (p.30-31).

  • The Pontine Marshes above Terracina, Italy -
    Price on request

    Pen and grey ink and washes over pencil heightened with white

    Image 135 x 266 mm., 5 ½ x 10 ½ in.

     

    This drawing was intended to be engraved as part of a series of illustrations to the poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892). Lear first met Tennyson in 1851 and over a number of years worked on selecting drawings from his sketches which would fit with lines from Tennyson's work. In 1878 he began to concentrate on the project and decided to produce 200 images which he had acheived in sketch form by 1885.

     

    This image illustrates lines Tennyson's `Ode to Memory': `Stretched wild and wide the waste enormous marsh.' The pen and ink sketch for this work is in the Yale Center for British Art (see Scott Wilcox, The Art of Travel, 2000, p.114, no.132, ill.) and is inscribed on the border with the lines from Tennyson. Lear died before he completed the series but in this instance got as far as the finished drawing ready to be engraved.

     

    The Pontine Marshes are an area of marsh extending on the coast south of Rome from Anzio in the north to Terracina in the south. This is a view of the marshes from Terracina with the promontory of Monte Circeo or Cape Circeo on the horizon above the town of San Felice Circeo.

  • Delphi on Mount Parnassus, Greece -
    Price on request

    Delphi on Mount Parnassus, Greece

    Inscribed lower right: Delphi. 16 April. 1849. 4PM and numbered 189 with a similar inscription in pencil lower left

    Pen and brown ink and pencil on buff paper

    27.5 by 44.5 cm., 10 ¾ by 17 ½ in.

     

    Provenance:

    With Thos Agnew & Sons Ltd (no.42429), 1980s

     

    Exhibited:

    London, Fine Art Society, The Travels of Edward Lear, October-November 1983, no.53

     

    A similar pen and ink drawing taken at Delphi, also dated 16th April 1849 and numbered 191 is in the Gennadius Library, Athens (see Edward Lear and the Ionian Islands, exhibition catalogue, 2012, p.124, ill.).

  • Atrani on the Amalfi Coast, Italy -
    Price on request

    Signed lower left: Atrani/Edward Lear del./1839

    Black chalk heightened with white on buff paper

    23.8 by 42.3 cm., 9 ¼ by 16 ½ in.

     

    Provenance:

    Mrs J. Gee;

    With Thos. Agnews & Sons (no.42032), 1980s

     

    This studio work was based on sketches drawn at Atrani in July 1838. A drawing of Atrani of this date is in the Houghton Library, Harvard. A later drawing of Atrani taken from a similar viewpoint and dated 7th June 1844 is in the Huntington Library, California. The highly finished nature of this drawing suggests that Lear intended to produce an engraving from it. A similar finished drawing of Capri from Massa Lubrense, dated 1840, was with Guy Peppiatt Fine Art in 2015 (see British Drawings and Watercolours, summer catalogue 2015, no.53.

  • Peppering House, Burpham, Sussex -
    Price on request

    Signed lower right: Edward Lear. del. and dated lower left: .... 1846

    Pen and brown ink and wash

    14.3 by 20.7 cm., 5 ½ by 8 in.

     

    Provenance:

    George and Fanny Coombe (née Drewitt), Peppering House, Sussex

     

    Burpham is in the valley of the river Arun a couple of miles of Arundel. It was the home of the Drewitt family and Lear first went there aged ten. Lear sketched at the house and in the surrounding area (see Vivien Noakes, Edward Lear 1812-1888, exhibition catalogue, 1986, p.94, nos. 13b and c).

     

    The earliest recorded landscape drawing by Lear is a view of Peppering House dated 1829 in a private collection (see Charles Nugent, Edward Lear – The Landscape Artist, 2009, p.3, ill. fig. 1). 

  • The Monastery of St Sabbas the Sanctified, near Bethlehem -
    Price on request

    Inscribed lower right: Deir Mar Sabbas/May 1. 1858/Dir Mar Sabbas/(127) and further inscribed with colour notes

    34.9 by 49.9 cm., 13 ¾ by 19 ½ in.

     

    Provenance:

    With Thos Agnew's, London by 2004;

    With Andrew Wyld, his sale, Christie's, 10th July 2012, lot 194, where bought by the present owner

     

    This drawing dates from Lear’s trip to the Holy Land in the spring of 1858. He was at Petra on 13th April then continued to the Dead Sea and Masada reaching St Sabbas at the end of the month. The Monastery of St Sabbas, or Mar Saba in arabic, overlooks the Kidron valley in the West Bank half way between the Dead Sea and Jerusalem, just east of Bethlehem. Founded in 483, it is considered one of the oldest inhabited monasteries in the world.

     

    Lear mentions his visit to St Sabbas in a letter to his sister Ann, dated 21st May, and wrote that he executed `some good drawings’ despite the fact that `the whole place, even on May 1st was so like an oven that I felt as if I should be baked’ (R. Pitman, Edward Lear’s Tennyson, 1988, pp.88-89). A drawing of St Sabbas executed on 30th April 1858 is in a private collection and another of a similar size to the present work, dated 30th April and numbered 122 is in the Houghton Library, Harvard.

  • Cannes, France -
    Price on request

    Inscribed lower left: Cannes/8. April. 8. A.M. 1865, numbered 109 lower right and extensively inscribed with colour notes

    35.4 by 55.2 cm., 14 by 21 ¾ in.

     

    Provenance:

    A. Davidson;

    with Agnew's, London, by 1973;

    J.J. Carteer, Paris

     

    Lear spent the winter of 1864-65 in Nice and from there he visited other French coastal towns. He preferred Cannes to Nice and subsequently spent three winters there. Another less finished view of Cannes, dated 6th April 1865, was sold at Sotheby’s on 5th June 2008, lot 267
  • Wadi Feiran with Gebel Serbal, Egypt -
    Price on request

    Signed with monogram lower right and inscribed lower left: Gebel Serbal

    Watercolour heightened with bodycolour

    10.3 by 20.6 cm., 4 by 8 in.

     

    Gebel Serbal or Mount Serbal is a mountain located in Wadi Feiran in the southern Sinai desert. It is the fifth highest mountain in Egypt standing at 2070 metres high and is now part of the St Catherine National Park.

     

    This highly finished watercolour is a studio work based on sketches made at Gebel Serbal in January 1849, his first visit to Egypt. After a week in Cairo, Lear sent off for Mount Sinai with his friend John Cross. He caught his first glimpse of Gebel Serbal on 20th January but he didn’t stop to sketch continuing to Mount Sinai reaching St Catherine’s Monastery on the 27th.  He returned to Cairo passing Gebel Serbal on the 30th and stopped to make sketches.

     

  • View of Sion, Switzerland -
    Sold

    Inscribed lower right: Sion. 17. Sept. 1837/H

    Pencil heightened with touches of white on grey paper, with cut corners

    25 by 34.6 cm., 9? by 13 ? inches

     

    The town of Sion is the capital of the Swiss canton of Valais and is approximately fifty miles east of Geneva. Above the sixteenth century buildings of the town stands the Basilique de Val?re, a fortified church dating from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and on the hill beyond is the ruined Ch?teau de Tourbillon. In the foreground the church with the spire is the Cathedral N?tre-Dame du Glarier with, to its right the small church of St Th?odule.

  • Denderah, Egypt -
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    inscribed lower left: Dendera./4.30. PM/January 15/1867 and numbered 173 lower right
    pen and brown ink and watercolour over pencil heightened with touches of white
    18.1 by 53.8cm., 7 by 21 inches

    This dates from Lear's third trip to Egypt in the winter of 1866-67. He left Cairo with his servant Giorgio and they met Lear's Canadian cousin Archie Jones at Luxor. Before setting off, Lear wrote to Chichester Fortescue: `My objects on the Nile are (excepting to draw Denderah on the lower river) wholly above Philae' (see Later Letters of Edward Lear, ed. Lady Strachey, 1911, p.80). the Temple of Denderah is on the west bank of the Nile between Abydos and Luxor and was dedicated to the Habdos, the Goddess of Love.

    Lear always carefully annotates his on-the-spot drawings with a time, date and number - this drawing was drawn on the spot at 4.30pm on 15th January and is the 173rd drawing executed on his Nile tour. Four smaller drawings of Denderah, numbered 155 to 158, two of which are inscribed `9.AM' and `9.15AM' are in the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven (see Scott Wilcox, Edward Lear and the Art of Travel, 2000, nos. 66-69, p.84-5). Two Denderah views sold at Sotheby's on 14th April 1994, lots 504 and 505 were drawn at 3pm on the 15th numbered 170 and 8.45am on the 16th numbered 175 respectively, so the present work was one of the last drawings of at least nineteen executed on January 15th alone. The above works were all on a smaller scale than the present drawing - a drawing of the same size was with Spinks in 1995 and was drawn at 2.40pm on 15th January and numbered 169

    Provenance:
    J.P.W. Cochrane;
    Private Collection until 2007
  • The Forest of Bavella, Corsica -
    Sold

    pen and brown ink and watercolour
    9.3 by 10.3cm., 3 1/2 by 4 inches

    Lear spent the winter of 1867-68 in Cannes and left for Corsica on 8th April in the company of the writer John Addington Symonds and his family but set out to explore the island alone. He reached the Forest of Bavella on 28th April: `At times the mist is suddenly lifted like a veil, and discloses a whole forest - as it were in the pit of an immense theatre confined between towering rock-wall, and filling up with its thousands of pines all the great hollow - these crags, often as I have drawn their upper outline from the pass I have been ascending today, are doubly awful and magnificent now that I am close to them' (Edward Lear, Journal of a Landscape Painter in Corsica, 1870, p.92)
  • The Coast near La Piana, Corsica -
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    pen and brown ink and watercolour
    9.2 by 10.8cm., 3 1/2 by 4 1/4 inches

    Lear reached La Piana on the west coast of Corsica on 10th May 1868: `shortly the ridge terminating in Capo Rosso is  crossed, and at a sharp turn of the road, a vast and striking picture of mountains, cliff, sea, and the village of La Piana, starts suddenly, as it were, into life.... in the middle distance is a line of pink granite or porphyry rocks, and nearer still a crest of immense crags above the village of La Piana, and in itself more picturesque than most I have seen in Corsica' (Edward Lear, Journal of a Landscape Painter in Corsica, 1870, p.128).

    This drawing is a study for a wood engraving from Lear's Corsican Journal, plate XVIII, opposite p. 142. It was the last of Lear's travel books and it was the only of his travel books in which he uses wood engravings rather than lithographs for the forty full-page illustrations and the forty vignettes
  • Spezia, Italy -
    Sold

    signed lower right: Edward Lear 1862
    watercolour heightened with bodycolour
    16.3 by 25.8cm., 6 1/2 by 10 inches
  • A Greek man at Philates -
    Sold

    inscribed lower left: Philates/Aug. 10-14 1856
    and numbered 13 lower right
    pen and brown ink and watercolour heightened with bodycolour
    10.7 by 7cm., 4 1/4 by 2 3/4 inches

    Lear was living on Corfu in the summer of 1856.  In July 1856 his friend Franklin Lushington announced he was taking a boat to Albania and Lear accompanied him with his servant Giorgio intending to travel on to Mount Athos.  This sketch was taken at Philates or Filiates which is a town in the Epirus region inland from the coast near the river Kalamas.  A watercolour of Philates by Lear dated 13th August 1856 is in the collection of the Tate Gallery (T01004).
  • A seated Greek at Philates -
    Sold

    numbered 10 lower right
    pen and brown ink and watercolour heightened with bodycolour
    7.3 by 6.8cm., 2 3/4 by 2 1/2 inches

    Lear was living on Corfu in the summer of 1856.  In July 1856 his friend Franklin Lushington announced he was taking a boat to Albania and Lear accompanied him with his servant Giorgio intending to travel on to Mount Athos.  This sketch was taken at Philates or Filiates which is a town in the Epirus region inland from the coast near the river Kalamas.  A watercolour of Philates by Lear dated 13th August 1856 is in the collection of the Tate Gallery (T01004).
  • The Boathouse, Knowsley Hall -
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    Inscribed lower left: Knowsley. Oct.r 29. 1846 and also dated in pencil

    Pen and brown ink over pencil on buff paper, with cut corners

    7.5 by 17 cm., 3 by 6? inches

     

    Knowsley Hall is the ancestral home of the Earls of Derby. The tenth Earl inherited the house in 1702 and enlarged the old hunting lodge into a large house. The boathouse and various bridges were built in the park between 1836 and 1839, by the Scottish architect William Burn (1789-1870) in the Scottish baronial style for which he was known.

  • View of Lake Maggiore, Italy -
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    Inscribed lower right: Lac Maggiore 28. Sept 1837./H

    Pencil heightened with touches of white on grey paper, with cut corners

    25.5 by 36 cm., 10 by 14 inches

     

    This is a view looking south on the western arm of Lago Maggiore. It shows two of the Borromean Islands, Isola dei Pescatori to the right and Isola Bella to the left, with the town of Stresa in the distance. A later version of this drawing, dated 1839 and presumably based on this on-the-spot sketch, was sold at Sotheby?s on 30th June 2005, lot 284.

  • Dhow on the Nile at Sunset -
    Sold

    signed with monogram lower right, with collector?s mark lower left

    watercolour heightened with bodycolour on grey paper

    10.1 by 20.1cm, 4 by 7 3/4 inches

     

    Lear visited Egypt and the Nile three times, in 1849, in late 1853 and in early 1867. His first recorded use of this monogram is in 1858 (see Vivien Noakes, Edward Lear 1812-1888, exhibition catalogue, 1985, p.205) and it suggests that this is a finished work produced in the studio rather than an on-the-spot sketch. A similarly finished work by Lear, of the same size, and also depicting dhows on the Nile was sold at Christie?s on 22nd January 2003, lot 69 for ?9,500

     

    Provenance:

    Spencer Family, Althorp House

  • Farmers drawing water from the Nile -
    Sold

    signed with monogram lower left, with collector?s mark lower right

    watercolour heightened with bodycolour on grey paper

    9.9 by 20.2cm, 3 3/4 by 8 inches

     

    Lear visited Egypt and the Nile three times, in 1849, in late 1853 and in early 1867.His first recorded use of this monogram is in 1858 (see Vivien Noakes, Edward Lear 1812-1888, exhibition catalogue, 1985, p.205) and it suggests that this is a finished work produced in the studio rather than an on-the-spot sketch.

     

    This work shows local people drawing water from the Nile to irrigate the surrounding area. The cliffs on the far bank of the Nile are reminiscent of those at Kasr-es-Saad (now Kasr-es-Saiyyad) which Lear described in a letter of 18th January 1854 to his sister Ann:

     

    ?Imagine immense cliffs, quite perpendicular about as high as St Paul?s & of yellow stone ? rising from the most exquisite meadows all along the river! While below them are villages almost hidden in palms? (quoted in Vivien Noakes, Edward Lear 1812-1888, exhibition catalogue, 1985, p.155). Lear painted an oil of the subject in 1877 (see Noakes, op. cit., no.62, p.155)

     

    Provenance:

    Spencer Family, Althorp

  • Between Caracalla and Laura, Mount Athos, Greece -
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    inscribed lower left: between Karacalla & Laura and lower right: 5.th Sept. 1856

    pen and brown ink and watercolour

    15 by 23cm, 5 3/4 by 9 inches

     

    Caracalla and Laura are two monasteries on the Holy Mountain of Athos. Lear spent three weeks there in the late summer of 1856 - he appreciated the scenery and was well received by the monks. The present watercolour shows the ruggedness of the landscape through which he travelled which he described as ?abundantly and exquisitely glorious and stupendous? (letter to Chichester Fortescue, 9th October 1856, quoted in Vivien Noakes, Edward Lear 1812-1888, 1985, p.147). A watercolour of the monastery at Caracalla by Lear, dated 4th September 1856, was sold at Sotheby?s on 11th July 1990, lot 138

     

    Provenance:

    H.C. Green, his sale, Sotheby?s London, 18th October 1961, lot 93;

    Mrs Robert M. Benjamin, New York

     

    Exhibited:

    New York, Davis Galleries, Edward Lear, 24 October to 19 November 1966

  • Lonely Valley of Zebbug, Malta -
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    inscribed with title lower left and dated March 28. 2.15 PM lower right

    pen and ink and watercolour over pencil

    15.8 by 24.2cm, 6 1/4 by 9 1/2 inches

     

    Lear arrived in Malta in December 1865. He knew that a friend and patron Sir Henry Stork, who had previously been High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands from 1859 until 1863, was now Commander-in-Chief in Malta. Stork had just departed however but Lear stayed on Malta until April 1866.

     

    The town of Zebbug stands in the centre of the island of Malta. The name means literally ?olives? and derives from the large number of olive groves which stood in the vicinity of the old town. Another view of the Lonely Valley, Zebbug drawn at 3pm on 28th March 1866 was sold at Christie?s on 22nd November 1977, lot 189

     

    Provenance:

    J.P.W. Cochrane;

    Private Collection until 2007

  • Dawn on Lago d?Orta, Italy -
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    Inscribed lower left: Lago d?Orta 6.45. AM. June 2. 1868 and numbered 215 lower right

    pen and brown ink and watercolour

    10.2 by 32.2cm, 4 by 11 1/2 inches

     

    After his trip up the Nile in 1867, Lear had originally intended to continue on to Palestine but instead he travelled to the Italian Lakes, visiting Garda, Idro, Iseo, Varese, Como and Maggiore before arriving at Orta on 1st June. He drew the present watercolour at dawn and spent the morning walking before lunching at Pettinasco then napped until 2.30pm. In the afternoon he drew ?bits of the beautiful foreground ? rye & vine & rock & fern? (Diary, 2nd June 1867, Houghton Library, Harvard) before hurrying back to his hotel before a thunderstorm arrived. Two sketches executed at Pettinasco at 4pm and 4.20pm on the same day are in the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven (see Scott Wilcox, Edward Lear and the Art of Travel, 2000, p.107, nos. 124 and 125).

     

    The pen and ink inscription in the lower left corner of the present drawing is a later addition by Lear, over his original pencil notes, and he has mistakenly added the year 1868 instead of 1867

     

    Provenance:

    W. Lambshead, his sale, Christie?s, 9th March 1951, lot 13, bt. Bamel for 7 gns

  • A Feather and the Artist?s Business Card -
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    Signed on the business card: E. Lear./38 Upper North Place/Grays? Inn Road

    Watercolour and pencil heightened with bodycolour on Whatman paper dated 1829

    17.1 by 11.3 cm., 6 ? by 4 ? inches

     

    Provenance:

    By descent in the family of the present owner since the 1960s

     

    38 Upper North Place, Gray?s Inn Road was Lear?s first London residence which he shared with his sister Ann probably from late 1827. In April 1832 Lear moved to 61 Albany St, Regent?s Park where he remained until early 1834 (see Charles Nugent, Edward Lear ? the Landscape Artist, 2009, Appendix E, p. 233).

     

    This picture is one of an important group of early works by Lear which have been recently rediscovered having been in a family collection for at least 50 years. It dates from the early 1830s when Lear was establishing himself as an ornithological artist. A Mrs Godfrey Wentworth is thought to have introduced him to the naturalist Prideaux Selby (1788-1867) for whom Lear worked and probably trained in the early 1830s. In June 1830, Lear received permission to draw studies of parrots from the collection of the Zoological Society and began to visit their newly opened Gardens in Regents Park as well as their museum on Bruton Street. This led to the publication of Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae between 1830 and 1832. A number of similar studies of birds and feathers are included in two albums of early drawings by Lear in the Houghton Library, Harvard University (Ms Type 55.4 and 55.27).

  • Figures at Chania, Crete -
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    inscribed lower left: Kanea and inscribed with other notes

    pen and brown ink and watercolour over traces of pencil

    5.2 by 17.5cm, 2 by 6 3/4 inches

     

    Lear left Corfu in March 1864 and travelled via Athens to Crete arriving at the port of Kanea or Chania, as it is known today, in mid April. He spent the rest of April and most of May on Crete. This is probably a sketch taken in the bazaar at Chania:

     

    ?Everything struck him as picturesque, the port, the bazaars, the black men and women, the great galley arches of the Venetian sheds, all the Cretans.....? (Peter Levi, Edward Lear ? a Biography, 1995, p.199)

  • Vico and the Bay of Naples with Mount Vesuvius beyond -
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    Signed lower left: Edward Lear del. 1839 and inscribed: Vico

    Black chalk heightened with white on buff paper

    26.6 by 42.1 cm., 10 ? by 16 ? inches

     

    This is a fully finished work by Lear drawn in his studio in Rome for his patron Robert Hornby. It is based on sketches executed by Lear in May to August 1838 when he was in the Bay of Naples. It shows the town of Vico or Vico Equense, as it is now known, which is south of Naples on the road to Sorrento. It sits on a rocky promontory under Mount Faito looking across the Bay of Naples to Vesuvius and the city of Naples. Through the trees to the right, perched on a clifftop, is Vico Cathedral. Four smaller fully finished drawings by Lear, similarly signed and dated, of Tivoli and Lake d?Orta, were sold at Sotheby?s on 10th November 1994, lots 57-60.

     

    Provenance:

    Drawn by the artist for Robert Hornby;

    With the Fine Art Society, London 1969;

    Private Collection, U.K.

     

    Exhibited:

    London, Fine Art Society, Edward Lear ? a Centenary Exhibition, August 1988, no.37

  • A Town on the Mosel  River -
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    Inscribed lower left: 26. July /1837./.n the/..sel and inscribed with H centre left

    pencil heightened with touches of white on grey paper, with cut corners

    17.1 by 12.2cm., 6? by 4? inches

    Lear travelled north-east up the Mosel from Luxembourg to Koblenz then south down the Rhine.

  • Schloss Eltz, Germany -
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    Inscribed lower left: Schlofs Els and lower right: Mosel August. 7. 1837. and inscribed in another hand: a.c

    Pencil heightened with white on grey paper, with cut corners

    27.9 by 21.7cm., 11 by 8? inches

     

    Schloss Eltz or Burg Eltz is a medieval castle between Koblenz and Trier. It stands on a rock spur seventy metres above the Elzbach river, a tributary of the Mosel, which surrounds it on three sides. It has been owned by the same family since the twelfth century. Another view of the same castle on a similar sized sheet also with cut corners, dated 8th August 1837 is in the Houghton Library, Harvard University (see Vivien Noakes, Edward Lear 1812-1888, exhibition catalogue, 1985, no.14b, p.96, ill.).

  • View at Roby, Lancashire -
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    Inscribed lower right: Roby. Aug 9

    Pencil heightened with touches of white on buff paper, with cut corners

    21.5 by 15 cm., 8? by 5? inches

     

    This drawing dates from 9th August 1836 just before his departure from Knowsley Hall on his walking tour of the Lake District. Between 1831 and 1837, Lear frequently lived and worked at Knowsley Hall, Lancashire, the home of the 13th Earl of Derby (1775-1851), who commissioned him to make drawings of the birds and animals in the menagerie there. Lear records that he set off from Knowsley to the Lake District on the 10th or 12th August.

     

    Roby is now part of the borough of Knowsley but was a small village in the nineteenth century, five miles east of the centre of Liverpool.

  • The Bridge House, Ambleside, Cumberland -
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    Inscribed lower left: ..leside and inscribed with H lower right

    Pencil heightened with white on buff paper, with corners cut

    21.4 by 15.2cm., 8? by 6 inches

     

    The Bridge House spans Stock Beck in Ambleside and was originally an apple store for Ambleside Hall. It was bought by a group of local residents in 1926 and given to the National Trust.

     

    This is likely to date from the 5th to 7th October 1836 when Lear was near Ambleside and probably staying in the town. He left Knowsley on the 10th or 12th August and returned there on 30th October and it was this tour which convinced Lear that he should become a landscape painter.

  • View of Kaub on the Rhine -
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    Inscribed lower right: Caub./22. August./1837/H

    Pencil heightened with white on grey paper

    19.4 by 28cm., 7? by 11 inches

     

    Kaub is a medieval town on the east bank of the Rhine south of Koblenz and about thirty miles west of Wiesbaden. It is famous for the Burg Pfalzgrafenstein, a castle on an island in the middle of the Rhine which served as a tollgate for merchandise travelling down the river. The castle on the hill above the town is called Gutenfels and in the distance is the town of Oberwesel with the Schonburg Castle above it.

  • Study of two Feathers -
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    Signed lower centre: E. Lear.

    Watercolour and pencil heightened with bodycolour

    15 by 11.8 cm., 5 ? by 4 ? inches

     

    Provenance:

    By descent in the family of the present owner since the 1960s

     

    This picture is one of an important group of early works by Lear which have been recently rediscovered having been in a family collection for at least 50 years. It dates from the early 1830s when Lear was establishing himself as an ornithological artist. A Mrs Godfrey Wentworth is thought to have introduced him to the naturalist Prideaux Selby (1788-1867) for whom Lear worked and probably trained in the early 1830s. In June 1830, Lear received permission to draw studies of parrots from the collection of the Zoological Society and began to visit their newly opened Gardens in Regents Park as well as their museum on Bruton Street. This led to the publication of Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae between 1830 and 1832. A number of similar studies of birds and feathers are included in two albums of early drawings by Lear in the Houghton Library, Harvard University (Ms Type 55.4 and 55.27).

  • Simplon, Switzerland -
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    Inscribed lower left: ..mplon/Sept. 1837 and inscribed with H lower right

    pencil heightened with white on grey paper, with corners cut

    32.4 by 22.6cm., 12 ? by 8? inches

     

    The Simplon Pass is historically one of the major routes across the Alps from Switzerland to Italy. In the early nineteenth century a road through the pass was built to link Brig in Switzerland with Domodossola in Italy and it was one of the obvious places for Lear to cross into Italy.

  • View of Chiaia, Naples -
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    Inscribed with an H lower right

    watercolour over pencil, with cut corners

    7.1 by 12.7cm., 2? by 5 inches

     

    Chiaia sits on the seafront to the west of the centre of Naples. To the far right of the present watercolour is the Castel dell?Ovo jutting out into the sea. In front is the Casino Francavilla with the dome of the Chiesa delle Crocelle al Chiatamonte beyond. Lear first visited Naples in the summer of 1838.

  • Erbalunga, Corsica, at dawn -
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    Signed with monogram lower left

    Pen and grey ink and watercolour and pencil heightened with bodycolour

    11.5 by 18.7cm., 4? by 7? inches

     

    Lear visited Corsica in 1868 and published an account of his visit in ?Journal of a Landscape Painter? in 1870. His diary entry for the 25th May 1868 reads as follows:

     

    ?. . . Erbalunga, a good-sized and most picturesque place, some nine or ten kilometers from Bastia, cannot be left so hastily. Standing on a little promontory, with a dark castle in ruin at its point, and with Elba beyond, this is one of the very prettiest of scenes, and detains me drawing it till 7a.m. The still sea, palest of the pale, and more like liquid opal, and the equally pale sky of early morning, are beautifully contrasted with the dark gray of the rocks and houses, and at this time in deepest shadow, and with the luxuriant foreground of fig trees and other foliage.?

     

    A view of Erbalunga from this viewpoint is illustrated on page 198 of his Journal. A full watercolour of this view by Lear was sold at Sotheby?s on 21st March 2002, lot 243.

  • Windermere from Troutbeck -
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    With cut off inscription lower right and inscribed H lower centre

    Pencil heightened with touches of white on grey paper, with cut corners

    16.8 by 25.5 cm., 6? by 10 inches

     

    This is a view looking north up Windermere from Troutbeck with Belle Isle in the distance. It probably dates from the 19th or 20th October 1836. Lear was at Helvellyn on 15th October and had reached Bowness on the east coast of Windermere by the 20th. A drawing of Windermere from near Windermere, dated 20th October, on a similar sheet of paper is in a private collection (see Charles Nugent, Edward Lear the Landscape Artist ? Tours of Ireland and the English Lakes, 1835 &1836, no.85, p.165, ill.). This drawing is taken from near Troutbeck which is several miles north of Bowness so was presumably drawn earlier. Lear carried on down the east coast of Windermere on his way back to Knowsley which he had reached by 30th October. A view of Windermere from Lowwood by Lear, dated 9th September 1836, was sold at Christie?s on 20th November 2003, lot 53 for ?8,500.

  • Italian Landscape -
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    Inscribed lower right: Ital

    Pen and brown ink over pencil on buff paper

    14.4 x 36.7 cm., 5 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches

     

    Lear?s pen and ink Italian drawings tend to date from the 1870s and 1880s when he was living in San Remo.

  • The Forest of Valdoniello, Corsica -
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    Pen and brown ink and watercolour

    91 x 10.3 cm., 3 1/2 x 4 inches

     

    Lear spent the winter of 1867?68 in Cannes and left for Corsica on 8th April 1868 in the company of the writer John Addington Symonds and his family, but set out to explore the island alone. He reached the Forest of Valdoniello on 11th May: ?The great forest of Valdoniello, commencing immediately from the bocca or ridge I have crossed, clothes the slopes of the mountains on its eastern, as that if Aitone does its western side . . . it is only when you begin the descent through Valdoniello that you perceive how widely in each direction the limits of this grand forest stretch out, and that the trees here are of the greatest size, though dwarfed by the huge mountain forms above them into apparently less importance? (Edward Lear, Journal of a Landscape Painter in Corsica, 1966 edition, p.148).

     

    This is one of a group of preparatory sketches produced by Lear for the illustrations to his Journal of a Landscape Painter in Corsica which was published in 1870, although this particular watercolour does not directly relate to an illustration in the journal. For two others, see Guy Peppiatt Fine Art, 18th and 19th Century Drawings and Watercolours, Exhibition Catalogue, 2007, nos.50 and 51.

  • Sartene, Corsica -
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    Signed with monogram lower right and inscribed on the old backboard: Julian Goldsmid Esq.r/SART?N?. CORSICA/ SART?N?/ditto

    Pen and brown ink and watercolour over pencil heightened with white and gum arabic

    12 by 19.2 cm., 4? by 7? inches

     

    Provenance:

    Sir Julian Goldsmid, Bart (1838-1896)

     

    Engraved:

    For Journal of a Landscape Painter in Corsica, 1870, pl. VII, opp. p.54

     

    Lear?s Journal of a Landscape Painter in Corsica records his trip to Corsica in the spring of 1868. His Journal entry for April 21 6 a.m. reads:

     

    ?After three days stay (and I could willingly remain here for as many weeks. . . .) I leave Sart?ne. . . . Just above the town, where the high road to Bonifacio passes the Capuchin convent, there is the first view of Sart?ne and the mountains; the whole town stands out in a grand mass from the valley and heights, and there is something rough and feudal in its dark houses that places it architecture far above that of Ajaccio in a picturesque sense.?

     

    Sir Julian Goldsmid owned an important collection of paintings, including works by Turner, Constable and Gainsborough, which were sold after his death at Christie?s, on 13th June 1896. A full watercolour of this view by Lear was with Colnaghi?s, London in 1976

  • The Aqueduct of Nero in the Roman Campagna -
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    Inscribed in ink lower left: Campagna di Roma and lower right: Sept. 20 1844 and extensively inscribed in pencil

    Watercolour over pencil on buff paper

    15.7 by 52.3cm., 6 by 20 ? inches

     

    Provenance:

    J.P.W. Cochrane

     

    Lear left England on his first continental sketching trip in July 1837 arriving in Rome at the end of the year. He was based there until 1848. An oil by Lear of this view was sold at Sotheby?s on 10th July 1985, lot 105

  • A Greater Bird of Paradise on a Branch -
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    Signed lower right: E. Lear

    Watercolour and pencil heightened with bodycolour

    18.2 by 15.2 cm., 7 by 6 inches

     

    Provenance:

    By descent in the family of the present owner since the 1960s

     

    This picture is one of an important group of early works by Lear which have been recently rediscovered having been in a family collection for at least 50 years. It dates from the late 1820s when Lear was establishing himself as an ornithological artist and relates to a group of drawings of birds which Lear drew as a token of gratitude to Mrs Godfrey Wentworth (see Vivien Noakes, Edward Lear, exhibition catalogue 1985, no. 6a, ill.). She is thought to have introduced him to the naturalist Prideaux Selby (1788-1867) for whom Lear worked and probably trained in the early 1830s. In June 1830, Lear received permission to draw studies of parrots from the collection of the Zoological Society and began to visit their newly opened Gardens in Regents Park as well as their museum on Bruton Street. This led to the publication of Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae between 1830 and 1832. A number of similar studies of birds and feathers are included in two albums of early drawings by Lear in the Houghton Library, Harvard University (Ms Type 55.4 and 55.27). The latter includes what appears to be a study of the same Bird of Paradise as in the present drawing (facing p.12).

     

    The Greater Bird-of-paradise (Paradisaea apoda) is the largest member in the genus Paradisaea. The male has an iridescent green face and a glossy yellow silver iridescence crown, head and nape. The rest of the body plumage is maroon-brown. The flank plumes, used in displays, are yellow at the base, turning white and streaked with maroon, with long twin tail wires.  It can be found in lowland and hill forests of southwest New Guinea and Aru Islands, Indonesia.

  • A Citron-crested Cockatoo and a Snake -
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    Signed lower centre: E. Lear

    Watercolour and pencil heightened with bodycolour

    17.1 by 13.5 cm., 6 ? by 5 ? inches

     

    Provenance: By descent in the family of the present owner since the 1960s

     

    This picture is one of an important group of early works by Lear which have been recently rediscovered having been in a family collection for at least 50 years. It dates from the late 1820s when Lear was establishing himself as an ornithological artist and relates to a group of drawings of birds which Lear drew as a token of gratitude to Mrs Godfrey Wentworth (see Vivien Noakes, Edward Lear, exhibition catalogue 1985, no. 6a, ill.). She is thought to have introduced him to the naturalist Prideaux Selby (1788-1867) for whom Lear worked and probably trained in the early 1830s. In June 1830, Lear received permission to draw studies of parrots from the collection of the Zoological Society and began to visit their newly opened Gardens in Regents Park as well as their museum on Bruton Street. This led to the publication of Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae between 1830 and 1832. A number of similar studies of birds and feathers are included in two albums of early drawings by Lear in the Houghton Library, Harvard University (Ms Type 55.4 and 55.27).

     

    The Citron-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea citrinocristata) is a medium-sized cockatoo with an orange crest and dark grey beak.  The underside of its larger wings and tail feathers have a pale yellow colour. The eye colour ranges from brown through very dark brown to black.   The smallest of the Yellow-crested Cockatoo subspecies, it is endemic to Sumba in the Lesser Sunda Islands in Indonesia, although it is now listed as critical endangered.

  • Study of a Feather -
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    Watercolour and pencil heightened with bodycolour

    17.8 by 11 cm., 7 by 4 ? inches

     

    Provenance:

    By descent in the family of the owner

     

    This picture is one of an important group of early works by Lear which have been recently rediscovered having been in a family collection for at least 50 years. It dates from the early 1830s when Lear was establishing himself as an ornithological artist. A Mrs Godfrey Wentworth is thought to have introduced him to the naturalist Prideaux Selby (1788-1867) for whom Lear worked and probably trained in the early 1830s. In June 1830, Lear received permission to draw studies of parrots from the collection of the Zoological Society and began to visit their newly opened Gardens in Regents Park as well as their museum on Bruton Street. This led to the publication of Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae between 1830 and 1832. A number of similar studies of birds and feathers are included in two albums of early drawings by Lear in the Houghton Library, Harvard University (Ms Type 55.4 and 55.27).

  • Karnak on the Nile, Egypt -
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    Inscribed lower right: El Karnak/16 Feb.y 1854 (3) and extensively inscribed with notes

    Pen and brown ink and watercolour over pencil heightened with touches of white

    13.3 by 43.3 cm., 5 1/4 by 17 inches

     

    This drawing dates from Lear's second trip to Egypt in the winter of 1853-54. He arrived in Cairo in December and met his fellow artist Thomas Seddon (1821-1856) who was already there. He had planned to travel on the Nile with William Holman Hunt who was expected shortly but Lear was offered a berth on a boat just after Christmas and left immediately without either artist. He spent ten weeks on the river visiting Assiout, Thebes, Karnak and Philae, sketching furiously, before returning to England in April. A small watercolour of Karnak dated 17th February 1854 was sold on Sotheby's on 19th October 1994, lot 212.

     

    This view of Karnak shows the Precinct of Montu, one of the four main temples that make up the Karnak complex.  In the distance is the famous Gateway of Ptolemy III, also known as Bab el'Adb. This monumental entranceway still dominates the Karnak site today.

  • The Plain of Zante from Galaro, Greece -
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    Inscribed in Greek lower right and dated: 30 May 1863 2. PM/(214)

    Pen and brown ink and watercolour over pencil

    33.6 by 52.1 cm., 13 ? by 20 ?  inches

     

    Provenance:

    With Lowell Libson;

    Private collection, UK

     

    Lear spent the winter of 1862-63 on Corfu before setting off on a tour of the Ionian Islands from March to June 1863. His diary for 30th May 1863 reads: `From 10 to 11 went in a violent = odious descent between 2 sides of a ravine - & the pale green plain of Zante came out by degrees in a vivid triangle at the end.? Another drawing of this same view drawn at 11-11.15 am on 30th May and numbered 213 is recorded in a private collection (see Vivien Noakes, Edward Lear, exhibition catalogue 1985, no. 21b, illustrated p. 107).

     

    Lear drew this watercolour from one of the hills running down the spine of the island of Zante, also known as Zakynthos, looking towards the town of the same name.  The town is nestled under the isolated hill of Bachali, which can be seen on the left in the far distance.  The hills rising to the right form the peninsula of Vasilikos on the eastern side of the island. 

  • The Mount of Olives, Jerusalem -
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    Inscribed lower right and dated: M.t of Olives./21 April 1858. 120) and variously inscribed with notes

    Pen and brown ink and watercolour heightened with touches of white

    8.3 by 25 cm., 3 ? by 9 ? inches

     

    Lear arrived in Jerusalem on 27th March1858 but the city was crowded as it was Easter so he carried on to Petra returning on 20th April. The present drawing dates from the next day, 21st April. Lear describes in a letter, dated 27th May, to his patron Lady Waldegrave who had commissioned a view of Jerusalem from him, that `My stay in Jerusalem or rather opposite the City, - for I pitched my tents on the Mount of Olives when I had ascertained the point I thought you would like best for your picture, was the most complete portion of my tour?.? This shows a view looking east from the Mount of Olives towards the Dead Sea and Masada.

     

    A watercolour of Jerusalem drawn from the Mount of Olives drawn between 24th and 28th April and numbered 116, was sold at Sotheby?s on 15th July 1999, lot 103.

  • A Woman outside a Country House -
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    Watercolour and pencil heightened with bodycolour

    16.1 by 21.6 cm., 6 ? by 8 ? inches

     

    Provenance:

    By descent in the family of the owner since at least the 1960s

     

    This rare early drawing by Lear has recently been rediscovered having been in a family collection for at least fifty years. It dates from the late 1820s when Lear was establishing himself as an artist. Other drawings from this period are included in two albums by Lear in the Houghton Library, Harvard University (Ms Type 55.4 and 55.27). For others from the same family collection, see Guy Peppiatt Fine Art, summer catalogue 2012, nos. 40-44.

  • Two Wolves in a Mountainous Landscape -
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    Signed lower left: E. Lear

    Watercolour and pencil heightened with bodycolour

    12.3 by 17 cm., 4 ? by 6 ? inches

     

    Provenance:

    By descent in the family of the owner since at least the 1960s

     

    This rare early drawing by Lear has recently been rediscovered having been in a family collection for at least fifty years. It dates from the late 1820s when Lear was establishing himself as an artist. Other drawings from this period are included in two albums by Lear in the Houghton Library, Harvard University (Ms Type 55.4 and 55.27). For others from the same family collection, see Guy Peppiatt Fine Art, summer catalogue 2012, nos. 40-44.

  • A Hunting Dog in long Grass -
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    Signed lower left: E. Lear

    Watercolour and pencil heightened with bodycolour

    15.3 by 20.3 cm., 6 by 8 inches

     

    Provenance:

    By descent in the family of the owner since at least the 1960s

     

    This rare early drawing by Lear has recently been rediscovered having been in a family collection for at least fifty years. It dates from the late 1820s when Lear was establishing himself as an artist. Other drawings from this period are included in two albums by Lear in the Houghton Library, Harvard University (Ms Type 55.4 and 55.27). For others from the same family collection, see Guy Peppiatt Fine Art, summer catalogue 2012, nos. 40-44.

  • St Julian's Bay, Malta -
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    Inscribed lower left: St. Julian's Bay/Malta/13 March. 8 A.M. 1866, variously inscribed with colour notes and numbered lower right 138

    Pen and brown ink and watercolour over pencil

    21.4 by 45.6 cm., 8 1/2 by 18  inches

     

    Provenance:

    With the Redfern Gallery, Cork St, London, 1947, where bought by R.F. Keith

     

    Lear arrived in Malta in December 1865. He knew that a friend and patron Sir Henry Storks, who had previously been High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands from 1859 until 1863, was now Commander-in-Chief in Malta. Storks had just departed however but Lear stayed on Malta until April 1866.

     

    This unusually large watercolour by Lear, excecuted on the spot dates from 13th March 1866 and is typically annotated with date, time and other notes.

  • View of Ithaca, Greece -
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    Inscribed lower left: Ithaca/28 April 10.30. A.M. 1863., inscribed lower right: Diano (87) and further inscribed with notes

    Pen and brown ink and watercolour heightened with touches of white on buff paper

    19.8 by 33.3 cm., 7 ? by 13 inches

  • Mount Serbal from Wadi Selaff, Sinai Peninsula, Egypt -
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    Inscribed lower left: Gebel Serbal./from Wady Selaff./sunset. 20 minutes after 5./24. Jany 1849. Mountain like transparent amber = glafs, inscribed with colour notes and numbered 133 lower right

    Pen and brown ink and pencil on cream paper

    22.1 by 36.4 cm., 8 1/2 by 14 1/4 inches

     

    Provenance:

    With Thos. Agnew & Sons, London, 1968;

    Private collection until 2012

     

    This dates from Lear’s first visit to Egypt in January 1849 which he reached after nine month travelling round the eastern Mediterranean. He left Cairo in the company of a friend John Cross on 13th January, reached Suez on the 17th and stayed three days at Suez. Soon however the weather turned bad and Lear abandoned the trip returning to Malta from Alexandria.

     

    Gebel or Mount Serbal is in Wadi Feiran in Southern Sinai. It is the fifth highest mountain in Egypt at 2,070 metres (6,791 feet). Lear passed Mount Serbal twice on his way to and from Mount Sinai. The present drawing dates from 24th January and another drawing, dated the same day drawn at 3pm and numbered 132, was sold at Christie’s on 6th December 2012, lot 273. Two drawings of the mountain dated 30th January were sold at Sotheby’s, one in 1974 and another in 1987.

  • The Tor San Giovanni near Rome -
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    Inscribed lower left: Tor San Giovanni and lower right: April. 7 1843

    Watercolour over pencil heightened with touches of white on grey paper

    22.1 by 36.4 cm., 8 1/2 by 14 1/4 inches

     

    Provenance:

    With Thos. Agnew & Sons, London, 1968;

    Private collection until 2012

     

    Lear arrived in Rome at the end of 1837 and remained there until 1848. He tended to winter in Rome and spend the summers exploring the rest of Italy. He spent much time in the Roman Campagna, a flat desolate area outside the city which was littered with Roman remains. In the 1840s he befriended a wealthy widow Jane Davy who had the advantage of a carriage and together they explored the area. A view of the Aqueduct of Nero, dated 20th September 1844, was with Guy Peppiatt Fine Art in 2011 (see summer exhibition catalogue, 2011, no.49) and for other works from this period, see Scott Wilcox, Edward Lear and the Art of Travel, 2000, nos. 29-31.

     

    Stylistically this shows Lear’s work at its most traditional, influenced by the artists he came across in Rome. Until the early 1840s his landscape drawings were executed in pencil heightened with white showing the influence of James Duffield Harding and from the late 1840s he developed his unique style for which he is best known.

     

    This is view of the Tor san Giovanni, also known as the Torre Salaria, which is located north of the old city of Rome on the Via Salaria, where the Aniene joins the River Tiber.  This medieval watch-tower was built on top of an ancient Roman tomb carved out of tufa known as Sepolcro di Mario, after Marius, the leader of a faction in the First Roman Civil War.  Once a landmark on the empty Roman landscape, the tower, which still stands, has been enveloped by the spread of modern Rome.

     

  • On the Nile above Aboushegarb -
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    Inscribed lower left: 2 or 4 miles above Aboushegarb. 2.30. PM. January 3. 1867. and numbered 48 lower right

    Pen and brown ink and watercolour over pencil

    7.7 by 25.1 cm., 3 by 9 3/4 inches

     

    Provenance:

    With the Ruskin Gallery, Stratford-upon-Avon

     

    This dates from Lear’s third visit to Egypt from December 1866 to March 1867. The purpose of this trip was to visit the Upper Nile which he had never reached and to get to Nubia. This is a typical sketch drawn on the lower reaches of the Nile which tend to be long and thin. For others from this trip dated from 4th January (the present drawing is dated 3rd January) until 31st March, see Scott Wilcox, Edward Lear and the Art of Travel, 2000, nos. 60-123, pp. 82-106, illustrated.

  • St Julian’s Bay, Malta -
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    Inscribed lower left: St. Julian’s Bay/Malta/13 March. 8 A.M. 1866, variously inscribed with colour notes and numbered lower right 138

    Pen and brown ink and watercolour over pencil

    21.4 by 45.6 cm., 8 1/4 by 18 inches

     

    Provenance:

    With the Redfern Gallery, Cork St, London, 1947, where bought by R.F. Keith

     

    Lear arrived in Malta in December 1865. He knew that a friend and patron Sir Henry Storks, who had previously been High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands from 1859 until 1863, was now Commander-in-Chief in Malta. Storks had just departed however but Lear stayed on Malta until April 1866. This unusually large watercolour by Lear, executed on the spot, dates from 13th March 1866 and is typically annotated with date, time and other notes.

  • The Castle of Melfi, Italy -
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    Inscribed lower left: Melfi/Sept 21 and inscribed in another hand lower right: J.W. Turner

    Pen and brown ink and washes heightened with white on grey paper

    20.8 by 29.1 cm., 8 x 11 ¼ inches

     

    Lear visited Melfi from 17th to 22nd September 1847 while he was living in Rome. Having visited Sicily in May and June 1847, he toured Southern Italy from July until October. He described the castle as `sufficiently imposing at this silent hour of night. There is a drawbridge, and sullen gates, and dismal court-yards, and massive towers, and seneschals with keys and fierce dogs – all the requisites of the feudal fortress of romance’ (see Edward Lear in Southern Italy, 1964, pp. 182-184). Melfi is in the central southern area of Basilicata to the east of Naples.

  • Castello di Baia near Naples, Italy -
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    Pencil heightened with white on grey paper

    119 x 231 mm., 4 ½ x 9 in.

     

    This drawing dates from Lear’s time in Rome from late 1837 until 1848 when he worked in pencil or black chalk. The lack of inscription suggests it’s a studio work and maybe preparatory for an engraving or larger drawing.

     

    The castle of Baia, several miles west of Naples, is perched on a cliff top overlooking the Mediterranean. The current fortress was built by the Aragonese in the late fifteenth century on a cliff above Roman ruins which purport to be Julius Caesar’s summer residence. They are more likely to have built by the Emperor Nero however.

  • A Cottage at East Marden, West Sussex -
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    Inscribed lower right: East Marden/Oct 28. 1834

    Pencil and stump heightened with bodycolour on grey paper

    17.5 by 26.3 cm., 6 ¾ by 10 ¼ inches

     


    This is a rare early English landscape view by Lear dating from his stay at Peppering House near Arundel, the home of the Drewitt family, in September and October 1834. Lear’s second eldest sister Sarah married Charles Street, a banker in Arundel, in 1822 and Lear was a frequent visitor to the house in his childhood. East Marden is a small village in the South Downs, eight miles north-west of Chichester.


    Two drawings in the park at nearby Parham, at the time the property of the Zouche family, dated 30 September and 13 October 1834, are in the Yale Center for British Art. For another drawing of Parham House, see Charles Nugent, Edward Lear – the Landscape Artist, 2009, no.11, p.44, ill. p.45.



  • Study of a Parrot facing left -
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    Signed lower left: Ed. Lear and signed again with monogram

    Pen and brown ink on writing paper embossed: FOX WARREN/COBHAM

    Sheet 13.9.2 by 8.8 cm., 5 ¼ by 3 ½ inches

     

    This sketch appears to have been drawn at Fox Warren Place near Cobham, Surrey, the home of Charles Buxton M.P. (1823-1871), a friend of Lear’s. Lear’s diaries record several visits to Fox Warren in the early 1860s. On 14th August 1862, he writes: `At 4.10 I left Waterloo Station, & came to Weybridge – where was C. Buxton, who took me – through St. George’s Hide, - towards Fox Warren, - but torrents came down, & we were glad to get into the Break [which overtook us], & go on to his house. Very beautiful the view thence! Cheerful & far away. Also Parrots abide in the Gardens - & flowers…… Dinner good. The 2 Buxtons very kindly & pleasant. Evening Cheerful.’

     

    Lear also visited Fox Warren on 18th October 1863 and records seeing Cockatoos in the grounds. The study might therefore be drawn from life.

  • Study of a Parrot facing right -
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    Signed lower left: Ed. Lear and signed again with monogram

    Pen and brown ink on the reverse of writing paper embossed: FOX WARREN/COBHAM

    Sheet 13.9.2 by 8.8 cm., 5 ¼ by 3 ½ inches

     

    This sketch appears to have been drawn at Fox Warren Place near Cobham, Surrey, the home of Charles Buxton M.P. (1823-1871), a friend of Lear’s. Lear’s diaries record several visits to Fox Warren in the early 1860s. On 14th August 1862, he writes: `At 4.10 I left Waterloo Station, & came to Weybridge – where was C. Buxton, who took me – through St. George’s Hide, - towards Fox Warren, - but torrents came down, & we were glad to get into the Break [which overtook us], & go on to his house. Very beautiful the view thence! Cheerful & far away. Also Parrots abide in the Gardens - & flowers…… Dinner good. The 2 Buxtons very kindly & pleasant. Evening Cheerful.’

     

    Lear also visited Fox Warren on 18th October 1863 and records seeing Cockatoos in the grounds. The study might therefore be drawn from life.

  • Study of a Cockatoo -
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    Signed lower left: Ed Lear and signed again with monogram

    Pen and brown ink on laid paper

    13.9 by 8.9 cm., 5 ½ by 3 ½ inches

     

    This sketch appears to have been drawn at Fox Warren Place near Cobham, Surrey, the home of Charles Buxton M.P. (1823-1871), a friend of Lear’s. Lear’s diaries record several visits to Fox Warren in the early 1860s. On 14th August 1862, he writes: `At 4.10 I left Waterloo Station, & came to Weybridge – where was C. Buxton, who took me – through St. George’s Hide, - towards Fox Warren, - but torrents came down, & we were glad to get into the Break [which overtook us], & go on to his house. Very beautiful the view thence! Cheerful & far away. Also Parrots abide in the Gardens - & flowers…… Dinner good. The 2 Buxtons very kindly & pleasant. Evening Cheerful.’

     

    Lear also visited Fox Warren on 18th October 1863 and records seeing Cockatoos in the grounds. The study might therefore be drawn from life.

  • Study of a Parrot -
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    Inscribed lower left by the artist: Holman Hunt del.t

     Pen and brown ink on laid paper watermarked: G…

    9.2 by 5.6 cm., 3 ½ by 2 inches

     

    This sketch appears to have been drawn at Fox Warren Place near Cobham, Surrey, the home of Charles Buxton M.P. (1823-1871), a friend of Lear’s. Lear’s diaries record several visits to Fox Warren in the early 1860s. On 14th August 1862, he writes: `At 4.10 I left Waterloo Station, & came to Weybridge – where was C. Buxton, who took me – through St. George’s Hide, - towards Fox Warren, - but torrents came down, & we were glad to get into the Break [which overtook us], & go on to his house. Very beautiful the view thence! Cheerful & far away. Also Parrots abide in the Gardens - & flowers…… Dinner good. The 2 Buxtons very kindly & pleasant. Evening Cheerful.’


    Lear also visited Fox Warren on 18th October 1863 and records seeing Cockatoos in the grounds. The study might therefore be drawn from life. The addition of `Holman Hunt delt’ is typical of Lear’s sense of humour. Holman Hunt, or 'Daddy Hunt' as he called him, was a good friend and painting companion of Lear.  They were regular correspondents, and a number of letters between them survive (six, written between 1853 and 1865, were published in Edward Lear Selected Letters, ed. V. Noakes, 1988).



  • A Little Bittern standing at Attention -
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    Inscribed lower left by the artist: CB del.t, inscribed with title and numbered 3 upper right

    Pen and brown ink on laid paper 

    12.5 by 6.4 cm., 4 ¾ by 2 ½ inches

  • Study of Umbrella Pines, Italy -
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    Inscribed lower right: August and in brown ink: Aug 1./1842/1842

    Black chalk

    28.4 by 25.5 cm., 11 by 10 inches

     

    Provenance:

    Private Collection, New York

     

    This drawing dates from 1842 during Lear’s Roman years. He left England in July 1837 and travelled down through Luxembourg, Germany and Switzerland arriving in Italy in September. He reached Florence in early November and Rome on 3rd December. Here he was to remain, apart from two visits to England, in 1841 and 1845-46, for the next ten years. He made a living giving drawing lessons to English residents in Rome as well as selling his drawings, watercolours and oil paintings.  He tended to remain in Rome during the colder winter months and travel to other parts of Italy in the summer. His early works during this period tend to be, like the present work, executed in black chalk sometimes heightened with white bodycolour.

  • Villefranche, France -
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    Inscribed twice lower left: Villefranche./10.am./15. January 1865, numbered 35 lower right, variously inscribed with colour notes and inscribed verso: 11./Upright/Lowest

    Pen and grey ink and watercolour over pencil heightened with touches of bodycolour on buff paper

    22.1 by 32.1 cm., 8 ½ by 11 ½ inches

     

    Lear spent the winter of 1864-65 in Nice. He had spent the three previous winters on Corfu which was under British rule at the time, but in May 1864 the island was handed back to Greece and Lear left. He spent most of December walking in Italy before returning to Nice on New Year’s Eve. The present drawing dates to the morning of 15th January when Lear records in his diary: `I rose at 6 - & at 7 exactly I set out – it is too blessed to get out of this swell doghole once a week. Glorious bright morning: up, by the Port, to Col. Smith’s - & to Villefranche – which I drew till 10 (I got there are 8.20.).’ This drawing is numbered 35 – no. 34, which was drawn on the same day between 8 and 9.30am, and shows the same view was sold at Sotheby’s on 11th April 1991, lot 85.   

  • Panoramic View of Cairo -
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    Inscribed lower left in pencil and pen and ink: CAIRO/10. January. 1849, extensively inscribed with notes and numbered 15 lower right

    Pen and grey and brown ink and watercolour over pencil  

    17.3 by 50.8 cm., 6 ¾ by 20 in.

     

    Provenance:

    Private Collection, UK, by 1962

  • Memphis on the Nile -
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    Inscribed lower left in pencil and pen and ink: Memphis. 9.45. AM. March 15. 1867 and numbered 612 lower right

    Pen and grey and brown ink and watercolour over pencil  

    17.5 by 50.4 cm., 6 ¾ by 19 ¾ in.

     

    Provenance:

    Private Collection UK, by 1962

  • Sunrise at Thebes, Egypt -
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    Inscribed lower right in pencil and pen and ink: Thebes Sunrise/22. Feby 1854., extensively inscribed with notes and numbered 239 lower right

    Pen and brown ink and watercolour over pencil heightened with white

    13.8 by 43.4 cm., 5 ¼ by 17 inches

     

    Provenance:

    Private Collection, UK, by 1962

     

    Thebes is on the east bank of the Nile within the modern city of Luxor. Thebes is the Greek name for the ancient Egyptian city of Waset.

     

    Two views of the Ramesseum at Thebes have recently appeared at auction, one dated 20 and 21 February at Sotheby’s on 1st July 204, lot 236, the second dated 20 February at Christie’s on 16th November 2006, lot 127.

  • View of Capri from Massa Lubrense -
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    Inscribed lower left: near Mafsa/22. August/1838, extensively inscribed with colour notes and inscribed verso: 69/upright/Lowest

    Pencil

    25.4 by 35.6 cm., 10 by 14 in.

  • View of Capri from Massa Lubrense -
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    Signed lower centre: Edward Lear del. 1840 and inscribed lower right: Capri from Mafsa

    Black and white chalk on grey paper

    25.5 by 42.2 cm., 10 by 16 ½ in.

     

    Provenance:

    With Hazlitt, Gooden and Fox, London;

    The Estate of William W. Appleton, USA

  • Near Ghatish, Egypt -
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  • The Tomb at Tughlakabad, Delhi, Italy -
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  • Mount Olympus from Larissa, Greece -
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    Watercolour over traces of pencil

    13.2 by 26.4 cm., 5 by 10 ¼ in.

     

    Provenance:

    Anonymous sale, Sotheby's, 6th July 2010, lot 261;

    Private Collection, USA

     

    Lear visited Mount Olympus on his first visit to Greece in the spring of 1848.Travelling alone he went to Yannina and then over the Metsovo Pass to the Vale of Tempe and Mount Olympus. He returned there in 1864 recording in his journals:

    'Starting at about seven, we held a southward course; the plain was one unvaried green undulation. Larissa, and even Olympus, except now and then its highest peaks, are soon lost to sight -- and it is only from some eminence -- that anything like a satisfactory drawing can be made -- yet the very simplicity, the extreme exaggeration of the character of a plain is not without its facination; and the vast lines of Thessaly have a wild and dream-like charm of poetry about them, of which it is impossible for pen or pencil to give a fully adequate idea.' (Journals of a landscape painter in Albania, pp. 416-417).

     

    The finished nature of the present watercolour and the lack of pen and ink and his customary notes suggests that this is a studio work. He drew this view a number of times. A finished studio work in watercolour is in the Metropolitan Museum, New York and an oil was sold at Christie’s New York on 25th January 2012, lot 57 for $104,500.

  • Study of Trees, Italy -
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    Signed lower left: E Lear/1838

    Pencil on blue paper

    269 x 182 mm., 10 ¾ x 7 ¼ in.

     

    Provenance:

    With Spink, London (K3/4388)

     

    Lear arrived in Rome in December 1837 and, apart from a tour of the Bay of Naples from May to August, he remained in the city for most of 1838. A group of studies of trees taken in Alderley Park, Cheshire by Lear are in the Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester (see Charles Nugent, Edward Lear the Landscape Artist, 2009, nos. 98-103, pp.187-192).

  • Monte Titano, San Marino -
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    Inscribed lower left: 4.30. PM/May 8. 1867/San Marino and numbered 56a lower right

    Pen and brown ink and watercolour over pencil

    71 x 119 mm., 3 x 4 ¾ in.

     

    After his trip down the Nile in the spring of 1867, Lear travelled by boat to Italy. He was in Ravenna from 4th to 6th May, Rimini on the 7th and reached San Marino on the 8th. The Republic of San Marino, which is independent from the rest of Italy, is only 24 square miles. Lear depicts its highest point, Monte Titano, which is about 2,400 feet above sea level. He continued north from San Marino to the Italian Lakes visiting Garda, Idro, Iseo,Varese, Como and Maggiore reaching Orta on 1st June.

     

    A view of San Marino dated 8th May and numbered 48 is in the Harvard University Collection and number 56, drawn at 5.15pm, was sold at Christie’s on 14th July 1987, lot 235 for £1,980.

  • St Leonard's Hill, Windsor -
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    Signed lower right: 1854./Ed.d Lear del and inscribed lower left: St. Leonard's Hill

    Pen and brown ink and watercolour heightened with bodycolour on buff paper

    27.7 by 43.1 cm., 11 by 17 in.

     

    Exhibited:

    London, British Institution, 1855, no.317

     

    St Leonard’s Hill sits in the parish of Clewer on the outskirts of Windsor. The house, originally known as Forest Court, was built by Thomas Sandby for Countess Waldegrave in the 1760s and was renamed Gloucester Lodge after his marriage to the Duke of Gloucester in 1766. The house was bought by William Harcourt, 3rd Earl Harcourt in 1781 and remained in the Harcourt family until it was acquired by Sir Francis Barry in 1872. He transformed it into a French style chateau but on the death of Lady Barry in 1924 the house was mostly demolished.

     

    Lear’s patron Lady Waldegrave was married to George Harcourt of Nuneham Park, Oxfordshire which is likely to be his link to the house. Lear was in England from October 1854 to December 1855 and this is one of his rare exhibited watercolours. 

  • View on Levkas, Greece -
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    View on Levkas, Greece

    Inscribed and dated lower right: 12-13 April 1863/Santa Maura and further inscribed in Greek, also inscribed verso: 25/Longwise

    Pen and grey ink and watercolour

    35.1 by 52.8 cm., 13 ¾ by 20 ¾ in.

     

    Provenance:

    With Thos Agnew & Sons, London

     

    This drawing was used as the basis for one of Lear’s twenty lithographs for Views of the Seven Ionian Islands published in December 1863. The Island of Levkas or Lefkada was renamed Santa Maura by the Venetians when they captured it in 1648. 

  • Study of an Eagle Owl -
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    Signed on  branch: E. Lear del. 1846.

    Pen and brown ink

    sheet 22.8 by 16.7 cm., 8 ¾ by 6 ½ in.

     

    Provenance:

    George and Fanny Coombe (née Drewitt), Peppering House, Sussex

     

    Lear’s biographer Vivien Noakes has noted that Lear `was at his best when drawing majestic, unpretty birds like ravens and owls; he endowed them with sagacious personalities, and it is tempting to wonder if Lear found a common bond with birds, for they too were at the mercy of unscrupulous men’ (Vivien Noakes, Edward Lear - The Life of a Wanderer, 1968, p.40). Lear drew an eagle owl for Gould’s `Birds of Europe’, vol. 4 published in 1837 so the present drawing may have been executed from memory.

     

    Two drawings of Scops owls, executed in watercolour by Lear, one dated May 1848 when he was on Corfu, were with Andrew Wyld in 2010 (see W.S. Fine Art, exhibition catalogue, 2010, nos. 42 and 43).

  • `Ye Owly Pusseycatte, a new Beast found in ye Island of New South Wales' -
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    Inscribed with title lower left

    Watercolour on laid paper

    13.5 by 8.9 cm., 5 ¼ by 3 ½ in.

     

    Provenance:

    George and Fanny Coombe (née Drewitt), Peppering House, Sussex

     

    This is likely to be the earliest drawing in which Lear combines the Owl and the Pussycat, assuming it also dates to the mid 1840s. He is perched on a branch smoking a churchwarden pipe and wearing a settler’s wide-awake hat with two peacock feathers attached and a smiling moon beyond. The mention of New South Wales suggests this drawing dates to a similar period as an undated pen and ink drawing in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York entitled `Portraites of the inditchenous beestes of New Olland’ which Vivien Noakes suggests was inspired by John Gould’s visit to Australia in 1838 to work on Birds of Australia (see Vivien Noakes, Edward Lear 1812-1888, exhibition catalogue, 1986, p.180, no.90). New Holland was the historical name for Australia.

     

    The famous poem `The Owl and the Pussy Cat’ was not written until Christmas 1867 for Janet, the sick daughter of his friend Arthur Symonds, with whom Lear was staying in Cannes at the time. On 14th December Lear recorded in his diary that `their little girl is unwell - & all is sad’. He returned several days later taking `a picture for little Janet.’ This was the Owl and the Pussy Cat which was later published as part of Nonsense Songs in 1871.

    The present drawing, like no. 49, was probably drawn for George and Fanny Coombe’s daughter Fanny, born in the summer of 1832.

  • Study of two Ducks -
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    Signed lower right: E. Lear del./apl. 15. 1846.

    Pen and brown ink on laid paper watermarked 1841

    Sheet 13.3 by 16.9 cm., 5 ¼ by 6 ½ in.

     

    Provenance:

    George and Fanny Coombe (née Drewitt), Peppering House, Sussex

  • On the Nile -
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    Inscribed with key: On the Nile/1. Mr. Crocodile/2. Mrs Crocodile/3. Master Crocodile/4. Master John Crocodile/5. Mifs Mary Crocodile/6. The River Nile & its fishes/7. The Piramids/8. The Palmtrees/9. The great Eagle./10. The peculiar Pelican/11. The unpleasant snakes/12. The black man/13. The black woman/14. The smalle blacks/15. one of the Temples

    Pen and brown ink on laid paper watermarked: [1]836 and embossed with a fleur de lys

    11.2 by 18.6 cm., 4 ¼  by 7 ¼ in.

     

    Provenance:

    George and Fanny Coombe (née Drewitt), Peppering House, Sussex

     

    This is one of Lear’s earliest known Nonsense drawings, on paper watermarked 1836. Vivien Noakes writes that `His earliest Nonsense, most of which now exists only in copies, was done for the Drewitt family…. and it was probably with them that he first realised that he could make people happy by making them laugh’ (see Vivien Noakes, Edward Lear 1812-1888, exhibition catalogue, 1986, p.181). Vivien Noakes’s exhibition catalogue includes two Nonsense drawing done for the Coombe family, `The animals going into the ark’ and `Ye Hippopotamouse or Gigantick Rabitte’ (op. cit., nos. 90b and c, p.180), with the latter inscribed `This large beaste doth belong to ye familie of Geo. Coombe, Esq.’

     

    This drawing most closely relates however to `Portraites of the inditchenous beestes of New Olland’ (Pierpont Morgan Library, New York) which is on the same size sheet and is thought to date to circa 1838 (Noakes, op. cit., no.90a, ill. p.181).
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