Edward Lear, View at El Luxor (1867)


View at El Luxor on the Nile.
Inscribed and dated ‘El Luxor./4.15.pm. 22 Jany 1867’ (lower left) and numbered ‘208’ (lower right) and extensively inscribed with colour notes. Pencil, pen and brown ink and watercolour on paper. 6¾ x 9¾ in. (17.2 x 24.7 cm.)

On Lear’s last trip to Egypt in the winter of 1866-67 he ventured further afield to Wadi Halfa and major sites such as Luxor. Lear was amazed by the Nile scenery and the richness of colour, writing that the ‘pale rock and gritty sand is blazing bright –while all below is a dark depth. The farthest range of hills is sandy pale, with grey from crowds of rock’ (E. Lear, Diary, 25 February 1867). In Luxor Lear was met by a cousin from Canada, Archie Jones, and they travelled away from the green banks of the Nile into the Nubian desert before turning north again towards Cairo.


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