Three Houses in Philates and a Letter to Gastaldi

The letter  was sent to Mr. Gastaldi, the architect who designed Edwar Lear’s two houses in Sanremo some time after 1880, when the building of the second one, Villa Emily had already been concluded. Lear and Gastaldi had evidently discussed the architecture of Albania and Lear sends the three drawings below, one of which has clearly been damaged by humidity.

Villa Emily.

5 Feby.

Stimatissimo Cavre. Gastaldi,

Subito dopo la sua partenza stamattina, ho trovato quei disegni che cercava. E no ho tracciato [legeramente] tre, — gli quali lascio con queste parole.

Sono tutti di case in Albania, dal Paese Philates, — luogo vicino al paese natale di Suli — quello del mio vecchio domestico Giorgio Suliote. Vedrà subito che hanno qualche cosa del pittoresco che nella Grecia non aoccorre mai, sull’architettura de’ Greci Moderni, — di quale l’architettura degli Albanesi è tanto dissimile quanto lo è il Carattere de’ due populi.

Sinceramente

Edward Lear.

From Edward Lear: Holloway 1812 – Sanremo 1888. Edited by Rodolfo Falchi and Valerie Wadsworth. Catalogue of the Sanremo exhibition, 7 December 1997 – 11 January 1998, pp. 102-103.

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