Edward Lear, Han Valiarè (1857)

Edward Lear, Han Valiarè.
Title and signature lower right: Ruins of Han Valiere / April 1, 1857. 12,5 x 19,5 cm. Watercolour on paper.

At the Han of Valiare, between Gardiki and Ioannina, 600 people from Gardiki were slaughtered on March 15, 1812 by order of Ali Pasha. It is thought that it was an act of revenge, for the acts of violence committed by the former many years ago against the mother and sister of the pasha.

invaluable.

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Edward Lear, Lugano (1837)

Edward Lear, Lugano.
Inscribed and dated ‘Lugano. 19th. Octobr / 1837.’ (centre left). Pencil heightened with white on buff paper. 9 3⁄8 x 14 1⁄4 in. (23.8 x 36.2 cm.)

Provenance
Acquired from Thos Agnew & Sons, London, February 1980.

Exhibited
London, Thos Agnew & Sons, 107th Annual Exhibition of Watercolours, no. 164, February 1980.

This lot is part of a group of drawings dating from Lear’s tour of Europe in the summer of 1837. Having spent the early summer of 1837 in Devon, Lear returned to London in early July and from there set off for the Continent on the Antwerp packet boat on 10 July, in the company of his sister Ann with whom he travelled as far as Brussels. He then passed through Luxembourg, Germany and Switzerland before spending September and October in the Italian Lakes, reaching Florence in November and Rome in early December. For most of the next ten years, Lear spent the winter in Rome and visited the rest of Italy in the summer.

The highly finished pencil work with white highlights is typical of Lear’s early style.

Christie’s.

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Edward Lear, The Wheelchair (ca 1835)

Edward Lear, The Wheelchair.
Pencil. c.1835. For a similar drawing see the sheet made on Lear’s 1836 Lake District tour (inscribed “Umbrellafera”) in the Houghton Library, Harvard University. 3.25×4.75 inches. Framed: 7×8.5 inches.

Abbott and Holder. No. 81.

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Edward Lear, English Rural Landscape (1849)

Edward Lear, English Rural Landscape with Sheep Grazing beside a Tree.
Monogrammed and dated “Nov 12 1849” lower right, watercolour, 22cm x 31cm.

Provenance
Franklin Lushington (1823-1901) and thence by descent.

The Saleroom.

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Edward Lear, Near Calikut, Malabar

Edward Lear, Near Calikut, Malabar.
Indian river landscape with hills to the distance, monogrammed lower right, titled lower left, watercolour, 10cm x 20cm.

Calicut, now known as Kozhikode, is a city along the Malabar Coast in the state of Kerala in India.

Provenance
Franklin Lushington (1823-1901) and thence by descent.

Franklin Lushington, the son of Edmund Henry Lushington, was appointed judge to the Supreme Court of Justice in the Ionian Islands in 1855 and Lear went with him to live in Corfu. They had met in Malta in 1849, where Franklin’s elder brother Henry was Chief Secretary to the government. On his death, Lear left all his papers to Lushington, who later destroyed most of them.

The Saleroom.

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Edward Lear, Indian River Landscape

Edward Lear, Indian River Landscape with Palm Trees and Hills.
Indian river landscape with palm trees and hills to the distance, probably Malabar monogrammed lower right, watercolour, 10cm x 20cm

Provenance
Franklin Lushington (1823-1901) and thence by descent.

Franklin Lushington, the son of Edmund Henry Lushington, was appointed judge to the Supreme Court of Justice in the Ionian Islands in 1855 and Lear went with him to live in Corfu. They had met in Malta in 1849, where Franklin’s elder brother Henry was Chief Secretary to the government. On his death, Lear left all his papers to Lushington, who later destroyed most of them.

The Saleroom.

Thanks, as usual, to Stephen Duckworth.

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Two more Bavella Pictures by Edward Lear

Harvard University, Houghton Library, pga_ms_typ_55_26_1280.

Edward Lear, Forest of Bavella.
4 PM. 29 April 1868.

Harvard University, Houghton Library, pga_ms_typ_55_26_1267.

Edward Lear, Forest of Bavella.
8.20 AM. 29 April 1868.

Both pictures, from the Houghton Library, Harvard University, will be on display at the Birmingham Ikon exhibition in autumn.

See Edward Lear’s Bavella Pictures for more information.

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Edward Lear’s Bavella Pictures

I receive from the lucky owner of one Bavella sketch and publish (with some editing).

The drawings I am interested in are illustrated in Philip Hofer’s book Edward Lear as a Landscape Draughtsman, plates 72 & 95.

Edward Lear, Forest of Bavella, Corsica, 1868. From Hofer’s Edward Lear as a Landscape Draughtsman, p. 72.

Both these drawings are of the Forest of Bavella, in Corsica, which Edward Lear visited in April 1868.

Edward Lear, Forest of Bavella, Corsica, ca. 1869 (?). From Hofer’s Edward Lear as a Landscape Draughtsman, p. 95.

Neither drawing was done on the spot — they do not belong to the sequence of forty-eight numbered drawings made in Corsica between 28 & 30 April 1868, most of which are in the Houghton Library — MS Typ 55.26 NI.R4; & MS Typ 55.26 Oversize Box 8 (for drawing no. 144).

As Hofer explains (p.35), the drawing reproduced as his Plate 95 is a reduced version of his drawing Plate 72, and was made for transfer to the woodblock used as Plate 13 in his published Journal of a Landscape Painter in Corsica (1870). Hofer’s Plate 72 is larger, and, not belonging to the numbered sequence of drawings done on the spot, must be a fully worked up drawing made from a pre-existing sketch.

That pre-existing drawing doesn’t exist in the Houghton collection. I am now in a position to say that it is one of the drawings missing from the library’s numbered sequence – in fact number 128, made at 7.10am on 29 April 1868. This drawing belongs to me and I attach a digital image. It is larger than most of the Bavella drawings — at 13¾” x 20¾”. Copyright in this image does not belong to me but the copyright holders have given permission for it to be disseminated to third parties on the understanding that it won’t be used for commercial purposes.

Edward Lear, Forest of Bavella, Corsica, 29 April 1868.

As you will see, the mountain landscape in my drawing is virtually identical to the two versions mentioned above, though the trees in the foreground have been altered.

In December 1869, Lear, now living in Cannes, started painting two large Corsican oil paintings which came to be known as The Forest of Bavella and [The Forest of] Valdoniello. (see Lear’s diary entries for 21 Dec 1869 – 12 March 1870: Houghton Library MS Eng 797.3).

The Valdoniello is now in the Paul Mellon Collection at Yale. But the Forest of Bavella is in private hands in the UK and was for sale by Dickinson’s at TEFAF Maastricht 2020:

Edward Lear, The Forest of Bavella, Corsica, 1868.

As you can see, the mountain landscape in the oil version of the Forest of Bavella is virtually identical to the finished drawing reproduced by Hofer as his Plate 72 (with the exception of the trees on the r.h. side) and my on-the-spot sketch (no 128).

I wonder do Yale know about the sale of the Forest of Bavella? It is exactly the same size as the Valdionello and the two were painted in tandem at the same time. They were clearly seen by Lear as companion pieces.

Edward Lear, The Forest of Valdoniello, Corsica, 1869. Yale Center for British Art.

On leaving Corsica Lear returned to Cannes and that is where he probably did the ‘penning out’. Then, in December 1869, he began the two oil paintings — The Forest of Bavella and the other [The Forest of] Valdoniello — based on Corsican drawings. They are the same size, indeed a pair, and he worked on them simultaneously over a period of three months, until March 1870, when he sent them to London. The process can be followed through his diaries which are in Harvard and on line. I have extracted the relevant sections (see attached).

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Peter Newell, Needledee and Needledum

When I published the other page with the same title I thought it was a one-shot, but it seems there was another, previous instalment in the March 1914 issue of The Ladies’ World. I do not own this so the scan is taken from the eBay auction; it is not very good, but can be read.

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Edward Lear, Monte Casale Sacromonte (1879)

Edward Lear, Monte Casale Sacromonte.
1879, numbered 3, pen and inks, 32 x 49cm.

The Saleroom.

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