Edward Lear, Venice.
Inscribed ’18th 7 20. Nov. 1865. 3.30′. Watercolour over pencil. 29.5 x 49 cm. (11 3/4 x 19 1/4 in.)
The present watercolour dates from Lear’s second trip to Venice in November 1865. He first visited the city in 1857, but returned eight years later on his way to Malta to make studies for an oil painting which had been commissioned by Lady Waldegrave. Lear went out onto the water, painting the Venetian landscape from a gondola.
‘Anything so indescribably beautiful as the colour of this place I never saw.’
Lear’s diary, 16th November 1865, quoted in Vivien Noakes, Edward Lear-The Life of a Wanderer1985, p.116.