Edward Lear, Sion, Switzerland.
Inscribed and dated ‘Sion. 17. Sept. 1837’ (lower right) and further inscribed ‘H’ (lower right). Pencil heightened with white on blue-grey paper, the corners cut. 9 7/8 x 13 5/8 in. (25.1 x 34.5 cm.).
This 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.