Dawn on Lago d'Orta, Italy

Dawn on Lago d'Orta, Italy



Edward Lear (1812-1888)
Dawn on Lago d'Orta, Italy

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 ½ 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 1
st 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

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