Edward Lear, Pentedatelo

LEAR Edward,‘Pentedatelo’ (sic. Pentedattilo), Calabria.
Ink and watercolour. Signed and inscribed.

Lear’s Diary (30th July 1847) ‘ … the wild crags of Pentedatelo particularly arrested our attention…’

A sketch for the ill.opp.p.190, ‘Pentedatilo’, ‘Journals of a landscape painter in Southern Calabria’, publ. 1852. 8.25×5.5 inches the paper irregular. 6×3.25 inches the image. 16.5×13.5 inches.

Abbot and Holder.

Lear used a different picture of Pentedattilo, in which the “five fingers” are seen from afar, as an image for Tennyson’s The Palace of Art:

We know that he also produced an oil version of this and presented it to Hallam Tennyson and his wife, froma letter of 24 February 1886:

You (& Audrey) are to have the large picture of Pentedatelo or ‘someone pacing there alone’ — wh. indeed was a matter settled long ago — but my omcreasing ill health broke off an arrangement wh. was then being carried out, i.e. — of the picture being presented to you by 30 individual parties.
This I knocked up, & you must now kindly accept the picture as a sort of pro=legacy, & I hope you can place it well.
(Selected Letters, ed. Vivien Noakes, p. 277.)

According to Jasmine Jagger, the picture was received by Hallam and Audrey Tennyson on 11 March 1886 — this is the date used by Hallam when he writes to Lear:

We have just opened the picture case – and both my Father and myself exclaimed “How magnificent!” It is an extraordinarily fine realisation of the stanza. … We shall put Pentedaleto at Aldworth – and I shall always count it as one of my most precious possessions.

We learn from Ruth Pitman (Edward Lear’s Tennyson, p. 29) that “one version — with a ‘red man’ — of ‘someone pacing there alone’ ended up, after Lear’s death, in Tennyson’s last home at Aldworth.”

Jasmine is trying to trace that colour version, does anyone know where it is?

I posted colour image very like the one above last June, but it is missing the ‘someone pacing there alone.’

The watercolour is now with Karen Taylor.

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2 Responses to Edward Lear, Pentedatelo

  1. Karen Taylor says:

    Dear Marco,
    the watercolour you illustrate above is now with me- I would be grateful if you could add this to your blog. I have contacted Jasmine also.
    Best wishes,
    Karen

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