Edward Lear, An Arab Encampment in the Sinai, near Gebal Serbal, Egypt.
Signed with monogram (lower right). Pencil, pen and brown ink and watercolour with gum arabic heightened with touches of bodycolour, on paper. 4 5/8 x 7¼ in. (11.7 x 18.1 cm.).
Lear reached Sinai in January 1849 remarking in a letter to his sister Ann that ‘the excessive & wonderful grandeur of the spot is not to be described, though I hope to shew you drawings of it – : the adaptation of the whole scene to that recorded in Scripture is equally astonishing’ (Letter to his sister Ann, 16 January 1849, in V. Noakes, Edward Lear 1812-1888, London, 1985, p. 148).
According to an old catalogue note, the back of the original frame bore an inscription in the artist’s hand which read; ‘Gertrude Lushington from her affectionate godfather Edward Lear, August 9th, 1879’.
Do you know if there’s a book on Edward Lear’s travels in the Middle East? That would be fascinating to read. I should add, this is a marvelous blog, and I’ve enjoyed following it.