Edward Lear, Rome, A View of the Forum with the Temple of Venus (1841)

Edward Lear, Rome, A View of the Forum with the Temple of Venus.
Signed and dated lower left: 13 / E. Lear f. 1841. Oil on canvas. 27.3 by 37.5 cm.; 10 3/4  by 14 3/4  in.

Provenance
Robert Crewe-Milnes, 1st Marquess of Crewe (1858-1945), Crewe Hall, Cheshire and later Crewe House, Curzon Street, London from circa 1901;
Thence by descent.

Literature
Crewe House, London, Inventory, vol. 2, 1914, p.90, Corridor from Entrance Hall to Staircase;
Manuscript Catalogue of Pictures at West Horsley, n.d., vol. 3, p.69.

Sotheby’s.

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Edward Lear, A View of the Roman Campagna, a Villa and Aqueduct in the Distance

Edward Lear, A View of the Roman Campagna, a Villa and Aqueduct in the Distance.
Signed lower left: E. Lear. Inscribed with inventory number lower right: 184 . Oil on canvas. 19 by 39.7 cm.; 7 1/2  by 15 5/8  in.

Provenance
Robert Crewe-Milnes, 1st Marquess of Crewe (1858-1945), Crewe Hall, Cheshire and later Crewe House, Curzon Street, London from circa 1901;
Thence by descent.

Literature
Crewe House, London, Inventory, vol. 2, 1914, p.89, Corridor from Entrance Hall to Staircase;
Manuscript Catalogue of Pictures at West Horsley, n.d., vol. 3, p. 67.

Sotheby’s.

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Edward Lear, Rome, A View of the Forum from a Terrace (1841)

Edward Lear, Rome, A View of the Forum from a Terrace.
Signed and dated lower right: 14 / E. Lear f. 1841. Oil on canvas. 27.3 by 37.4 cm.; 10 3/4  by 14 3/4  in.

Provenance
Robert Crewe-Milnes, 1st Marquess of Crewe (1858-1945), Crewe Hall, Cheshire and later Crewe House, Curzon Street, London from circa 1901;
Thence by descent.

Literature
Crewe House, London, Inventory, vol. 2, 1914, p.90, Corridor from Entrance Hall to Staircase;
Manuscript Catalogue of Pictures at West Horsley, n.d., vol. 3, p. 70.

Sotheby’s.

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Edward Lear, From S. Giov: Laterano, Roma (1839)

Edward Lear, From S. Giovanni in Laterano, 1839.
Signed and dated Edward Lear. del. 1839. lower left and inscribed with the title lower right. Pencil heightened with white on buff paper. 7 5/8 by 16 1/2 in. 19.4 by 41.9 cm.

Sotheby’s.

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Edward Lear, The Acropolis, Athens (1848)

Edward Lear, The Acropolis, Athens.
Pen and brown ink and watercolor, heightened with white on gray paper; inscribed, dated and numbered, lower right: athens – / 5.6. / 9 June. / 1848 / 9.
311 by 508 mm; 12 1/4  by 20 in.

Provenance
With Agnew’s, London;
sale, London, Christie’s, 24 April 1996, lot 85

After spending only three weeks in Corfu, the island Lear claimed to be a ‘Paradise’ to his sister Ann, he was invited to join the British Ambassador to Turkey, Sir Stratford Canning, and his wife, on their travels to Constantinople via Athens. Lear arrived in Athens in June 1849 and was instantly captivated by his surroundings, exclaiming to his sister ‘surely never was anything so magnificent…!’ He first visited the Acropolis on 4 June, but evidently made further visits during his time there, as is indicated by the dates on the present drawing. Lear illustrates the winding path down to the Acropolis, with numerous figures in the foreground. Standing in the centre of the view is the Frankish Tower, a fourteenth century addition to the Acropolis. In 1875, this tower was demolished, as part of a project initiated by Heinrich Schliemann (1822-1890), a German pioneer in archaeology, who aimed to clear the Acropolis of post-Classical buildings. The project incited considerable criticism, and was even referred to as ‘pedantic barbarism’ by historian of Frankish Greece, William Miller.

Sotheby’s.

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Edward Lear, View of the Ponte Rotto, Rome (1839)

Edward Lear, View of the Ponte Rotto, Rome.
Pencil, heightened with white; inscribed, signed and dated, lower right: Ponte Rotto Roma. / Edward Lear.del1839.

Provenance
Lord Stanley of Alderley,
thence by descent;
H.D. Lyon, London;
with Eugene Thaw, New York,
where acquired in 1976

Sotheby’s.

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Edward Lear, Goats in the Campagna, near Rome (1839)

Edward Lear, Goats in the Campagna, near Rome.
Black chalk, heightened with white; signed lower right: Edward Lear del. / Roma. 1839 .

Sotheby’s.

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Edward Lear in Public Collections & How Many Drawings Were There (Updated versions)

Edward Lear, Campagna di Roma (with swan and ruin), 1840. [Houghton Library]

Stephen Duckworth has kindly sent me updated versions of his two essays:

Edward Lear Works in Public Collections and in Other Collections Open to the Public (written with Rowena Fowler),

and

Edward Lear’s Landscape Drawings: How Many Were There?

We should also be looking forward to a new paper on Lear’s studio practice, to appear shortly.

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Edward Lear, Kalama (1857)

Edward Lear, Kalama.
Inscribed with title and dated ‘April 6, 1857’, also annotated with notes in brown ink
pen, inks and watercolour. 22 x 31cm.

Provenance
Fine Art Society, March 1946.

The Saleroom.

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The Original Wheelbarrow Woman?

If you have been following this blog for some time you may have noticed how insanely partial I am to women who ride around in wheelbarrows, whether these are propelled by kind husbands or terrible devils. I have even posted a short picture story of a mother ape trying to save her little ones from a savage bear with the help of this locomotive instrument, though apparently with only limited success.

Now I think I have identified the original for all this wheelbarrow pushing: it seems that the first man who pushed, or more prabably pulled, a woman around on this vehicle was Saint Cuthman:

A turning point in Cuthman’s life was the death of his father, which left both him and his mother destitute. They decided to leave their home and journey eastwards – in the direction of the rising sun. By this time, Cuthman’s mother was an invalid and so he had to push her in a wheeled wooden cart. A rope that stretched from the handles to the saint’s shoulders helped carry the burden. When the rope snapped, he made a new one out of withies. The local haymakers laughed at Cuthman’s rather pathetic efforts, but Providence soon responded to their merriment by sending a sudden rainstorm, destroying their harvest. Later versions of the story say that, from that moment onwards, it always rained in that field during the haymaking season.
Cuthman decided that once this replacement rope made of withies broke, it would be a sign from God to settle at that place and build a church. This happened at Steyning, which, according to the Acta Sanctorum, was ‘a place lying at the base of a lofty hill, then woody, overgrown with brambles and bushes, but now rendered by agriculture fertile and fruitful, enclosed between two streams springing from the hill above.’
[From a full Story of St. Cuthman, irrelevant here but not lacking interesting details]

Here is a particularly Lear-like Medieval (?) image of St Cuthman at work:

My inexcusable ignominous ignorance in these matters is obvious if you consider that I found out about Cuthman only by reading Bernard Cornwell’s The Pale Horseman, where reference to him is made in passing by a desperate Alfred the Great, while in lockdown and suffering  withdrawal symptoms after watching the fourth season of The Last Kingdom. However, the saint has also been the protagonist Christopher Fry’s first play, The Boy with a Cart (1938), the cover for which book correctly shows that Cuthman must have pulled the wheelbarrow rather than pushed it.

More wheelbarrows with human cargo:

Country folk pushing a lawyer, a physician and a gouty vicar in wheelbarrows out of their village. Coloured etching by G. Cruikshank, 1819:

Doctor Drainbarrel is placed in a wheelbarrow and carted home. Coloured etching by T. Rowlandson after himself, c. 1800:

Etching with engraving by W.Y. Ottley after the Monogrammatist bxg:

A railway employee (?) wheels away the dismembered body of a man killed in a railway accident; he converses with a physician:

A man has to carry his overweight wife in a wheelbarrow up a steep mountain to the great amusement of onlookers:

All these from the Wellcome collection.

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