Edward Lear, The Amphitheatre, Taormina, Sicily.
Pencil and grey wash, heightened with white, on grey paper; inscribed lower left: Taormina; signed lower right: Edward Lear del.1842. 165 by 250 mm.
Lear spent ten weeks exploring Sicily in the spring of 1842. On the 5th June he wrote to his patron, Edward, 13th Earl of Derby (1775-1851) that ‘Taormina was our next halting place…This city is very interesting for its containing the most perfect remains of a Greek theatre now extant. It looks towards Etna and the view thence – looking down nearly all the east and S[outh] East coast of Sicily…[It] is truly astonishing.’1
1. V. Noakes, Edward Lear, Selected Letters, 1988, p. 59