Edward Lear, Lake Lugano from Monte Generoso.
Signed with monogramme (lower left) and inscribed verso No I / Lake Lugano Watercolour over pencil heightened with white. 12.4 x 18.7cm (4 3/4 x 7 1/4 in).
Edward Lear’s Bongs, Dongs and Songs will take place on 12 October at Gumby Hall and Garden, Lincolnshire, for more information and booking, which is essential, go to the website for the event.
The next day, 13 October, there will be another concert of Edward Lear’s music at Ightham Mote, Kent; booking is also essential. More info.
Both events will see the participation of Lear expert Sara Lodge, acclaimed pianist and broadcaster David Owen Norris, and baritone Edward Robinson. At Ightham the event will also be followed by an evening meal!
Lear (Edward, 1812-1888). Autograph letter in the third person, 65 Oxford Terrace, Hyde Park, circa 1853, to Mrs Bond, thanking her ‘for a very obliging letter, & also for the Post Office order for 8 shillings. The set of songs was sent yesterday: & Mr Lear hopes it may arrive safely though he now wishes he had kept them til he had heard from Mrs Bond. Mr Church was his advisor, & the address was said to be sufficient to ensure their safety. Should there be any difficulty, Mr Hansen, Mr Lear’s Landlord, will answer any enquiries after Mr L has gone’, written on the final page of a bifolium, the first page bearing a printed advertisement for the publication of ‘Poems & Songs by Alfred Tennyson, Set to Music, and inscribed to Mrs Alfred Tennyson, by Edward Lear’, a little spotting and creasing, a few short fold splits, 8vo.
Must have got this from an auction house, but can’t remember which.
Penry Williams, “Civitella Gazette”, view of the Serpentara; a group of artists, including Samuel and Hannah Palmer and Albin Martin, sketching in a landscape. 1839 Pen and brown ink.
“Mr. Lear” is the long-legged one sitting at the foot of the rock
price. 2 Bugs. View of the [Serpentara.] July. 1. 1834. presented gratis.
of Civitella has been made (for the poor) among the residents at  & a considerable sum has been realized.
July 1. 1839
Penry Williams has captured a group of artists at work in the landscape of Civitella on July 1st in 1839. Samuel Palmer is shown in hat and spectacles on the crest of a rock with his wife Hannah (née Linnell) in her bonnet nearby, and Albin Martin seated below. The Palmers were slowly making their way north and back to England after being in Italy since the end of 1837. (see W. Vaughan, E. Barker and C Harrison, ‘Samuel Palmer’, BM, London, 2005, pp. 179-80)
Olevano and Civitella were favourite spots for artists in the 19th century, frequently staying in one or the other and meetingin the middle with the result that there are numerous paintings, drawings and prints by them showing either Olevano seen from Civitella and the Serpentara or of Civitella seen from Olevano and the Serpentara.
Compare with a self-portrait by a friend of Edward Lear’s, Marianne North, showing the conditions in which she often had to work:
A sketch of botanical artist Marianne North perched in a tree – so as to better view the plants she wished to draw. “How I got up and how I got down is still a mystery to me”, (Marianne writing to Dr Allman, from Seychelles, 1883.) Kew Gardens LAA Team.
Edward Lear (after), A View of the cathedral in Orvieto.
From volume II of The Ecclesiastical Architecture of Italy from the Time of Constantine to the Fifteenth Century. With an Introduction and Text by Henry Gally Knight Esq.r F.R.S F.S.A. “G. Moore Delt.” “Owen Jones. Lithochromotog.” London: Henry Bohn, 1843. No. 26.
This appears to be the only Edward Lear Picture in the book, which I did not know he had collaborated with, at least it is the only one I was able to find.
Orvieto had not changed much since 1633, look at this picture from Joan Blaeu, Theatrum civitatum et admirandorum Italiae, ad aevi veteris &t praesentis temporis faciem expressum a’ Ioanne Blaeu. 1663.