Edward Lear, Honister Crag, Lake District.
Signed and inscribed ‘E./ Honister. Cu’ (lower right). Pencil heightened with white on grey paper. 4 ¼ x 6 7/8 in. (10.8 x 17.5 cm.), corners cut.
C. Nugent, Edward Lear The Landscape Artist: Tours of Ireland and the English Lakes, 1835 & 1836, Grasmere, 2009, p. 158, fig. 43.
Lear made a walking tour of the Lake District in 1836, from which this drawing dates. Lear loved the landscape and wrote enthusiastically to John Gould (31 October 1836) ‘I left Knowsley…on the 12th August for a sketching tour, & really it is impossible to tell you how, and how enormously I have enjoyed the whole Autumn. The counties of Cumberland & Westmorland are superb indeed, & tho the weather has been miserable, yet I have contrived to walk pretty well over the whole ground & to sketch a good deal besides’. Many years later in 1884, Lear recalled of his trip ‘…I know every corner of Westmorland; Scawfell Pikes is my cousin, and Skiddaw is my mother in law’. Honister Crag is on the road which cuts between Buttermere and Borrowdale, and Lear dated another drawing from the same viewpoint 10 October.
A group of drawings from this tour was sold in these Rooms, 20 November 2003, lot 77, and are now at Dove Cottage, Grasmere.
This Sale, Old Master and British Drawings and Watercolours Including Works from the Collection of Jean Bonna (London, 2 July 2019), has several Lears worth seeing. If you can’t wait for me to post them here you should download the PDF catalogue, that contains more pictures than those that appear online.
‘Skiddaw is my mother in law’ is pure gold!