Abetone in the Apennines, Italy

Abetone in the Apennines, Italy



Edward Lear (1812-1888)
Abetone in the Apennines, Italy

Inscribed lower left: Abetone/19. August/1883/3.15 PM
Pen and brown ink and watercolour over pencil
9.6 by 16.7 cm., 3 ¾ by 6 ½ in.

Abetone lies between Emilia Romagna and Tuscany in the Apennines about 50 miles north-west of Florence. It was founded in 1732, as a customs post on the road between the Duchies of Modena and Tuscany and takes its name from an enormous fir tree that was cut down to create the road. During the early 20
th century, it became popular as a ski resort.

During the last decade of his life, Lear no longer returned to England for the summer months, preferring to spend his time travelling in Southern Europe. The present drawing was executed during the extended walking tour Lear undertook in Umbria and Tuscany, following the death of his faithful servant and friend Giorgio Kokali. The artist spent at least two days at Abetone, recording the dramatic, mountainous landscape and majestic pine trees that populate the area.