Agrigento, Italy

Agrigento, Italy



Edward Lear (1812-1888)
The Temples at Agrigento,Sicily

Inscribed lower left: Girgenti 4. May 1842 and variously inscribed with colour notes and inscribed verso: 64./Long./Lowest
Black chalk and pencil on buff paper
18.2 by 41.9 cm., 7 by 16 1/2 in.

Ray Livington Murphy, his sale, Christie's, 19th November 1985, lot ??
Private Collection, New York until 2017

This dates from Lear's tour of Sicily in April and May 1842. He had left England in late 1837 and was mainly based in Rome until 1848. He visited Sicily with two pupils, Leopold Acland, son of Sir Thomas Acland, and a nephew of Sir Stamford Raffles.

He returned to Sicily in 1847 and wrote about Agrigento (or Girgenti as it was known) to his sister Ann: `Nothing of earth can be so beautiful as Girgenti with its 6 Temples - I speak of the old town - & the flowers & birds are beyond imagination' (Letter to Ann, 23rd May 1847).