Edward Lear, On the Nile, moon setting.
Numbered and inscribed ‘No. 6/ ON THE NILE. MOON SETTING.’ (on the verso of the mount). Watercolour heightened with bodycolour and gum arabic on blue paper
7 1/8 x 14 7/8 in. (18 x 37.5 cm.)
Lear visited Egypt four times, firstly in 1848, then again in 1853 and 1854. He was captivated by the form of the Egyptian boats; writing to his sister Ann on 4 January 1854, ‘the most beautiful feature is the number of boats, which look like giant moths, -& sometimes there is a fleet of 20 or 30 in sight at once’. After a gap of thirteen years Lear set off on his final trip to Egypt in December 1866 writing ‘It seems a dream that I am about to see the blinding brightness of the south once more’. (V. Noakes, Edward Lear, The Life of a Wanderer, London, 1979, p. 174).