I have received John Varriano’s new book on Edward Lear in Malta, a gorgeous addition to the recent fashion of books and / or exhibitions on Lear’s travels to different parts of the world. This beautiful oblong volume contains a detailed discussion of the painter’s visits to the island and in particular the last one in 1865-1866, lists all known landscape paintings he did of the island — most of those that can still be traced are illustrated — and prints transcripts of the diaries and letters written in the period he stayed there. Highly recommended.
You may remember there was an exhibition in Corfu a couple of years ago on Edward Lear and the Ionian Islands; one of the events connected with this was a lecture on Edward Lear by psychiatrist Anthony Stevens, which I have found is available in its entirety on YouTube: Dr Stevens states that Lear suffered from “a severe body dysmorphic disorder,” i.e. was obsessed with his physical appearance.
Finally, if you read Italian you should not miss Paola Vozza’s long post on Il paesaggio secondo Lear, which also has a gallery with several of the landscapes Lear painted of the Italian alpine lakes.
Happy new year !
I will probably buy the new Malta book, but as from your blog you have one, can you tell me if there is within it a seemingly complete listing of numbered drawings on his visits please (ie similar to what I have done for Crete).
Yes, Stephen, it includes a checklist of around 300 pictures of the island, though many are not identified. My full review will appear in the forthcoming Society newsletter.