I have already posted several of Edward Lear’s pictures of Switzerland (1, 2, 3), but so far none from his first visit in 1837 while he was travelling to Italy for the first time. He left London in July and travelled via Brussels, Luxembourg and Frankfurt, where he was on 25 August; he reached Italy in September, was in Florence in early November, and finally reached Rome on 3 December.
Geneva, from Petit Sacconex, Switzerland (1837)
dated ‘Sept.8th.1837.’ (lower centre)
pencil, heightened with touches of white on grey paper, corners cut
6 x 9 3/8 in. (15.2 x 3.8 cm.)
A Street Scene in Vevey, Switzerland
signed and dated ‘Vevey/12th. Septr. 1837′ (lower right)
pencil and watercolour heightened with white, corners cut
10 x 6½ in. (25.4 x 16.5 cm.)
Vevey is situated at the foot of Mount Pélerin towards the Eastern end of Lake Geneva, at the mouth of the Veveyse Valley, a little to the North-West of Montreux. Lear travelled through Vevey on his way to Rome in 1837. This watercolour, although presumably at least begun on the spot, is much more fully coloured than Lear’s later in situ sketches, achieving the status of a finished watercolour.