Edward Lear (1812-1888)
Signed lower right: Edward Lear 1862
Watercolour heightened with bodycolour
16.3 by 25.8cm., 6 ½ by 10 inches
Spezia was, in the nineteenth century, an important Italian naval port. It stands near the head of a deep bay 56 miles south-east of Genoa. The mouth to the bay is guarded by batteries and barracks and it was formerly a great shipyard for boat building. It is now best known as a seaside resort due to the beauty of the bay and the pleasant climate.
Lear spent two weeks travelling round the bay of Spezia in May 1860 on his way back to England from Rome where he had spent six months. The present watercolour, executed in the studio in 1862, is presumably based on sketches executed in 1860
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