After Edward Lear, The Acropolis from the southwest

After Edward Lear, The Acropolis from the southwest, with the Temple of Athena Niké.
Inscribed and dated ‘Athens. / 5. 6. 7. June / 1848’ (lower left), and inscribed and numbered ‘(6) / a copy, made June 1866; the original belongs to / F.L.’ (Penned & traced in Edward Lear’s hand (?) by F. Underhill)’ (lower right). Pencil, pen and brown ink and watercolour, heightened with bodycolour. 12 7/8 x 20 3/8 in. (32.7 x 51.8 cm.)

Charles Church, and by descent to the present owners.

Sheffield, Graves Art Gallery, Edward Lear, Drawings from a Greek Tour, July 1964.

The ‘F.L.’ mentioned in the inscription must be Franklin Lushington (1823-1901), Lear’s great friend who he met in Malta in 1849. Lear would later live with Lushington in Corfu, where the latter was a judge. Frederick Thomas Underhill (1846-1897) was best known as a copyist for the Guild of St George. Lear employed Underhill to prepare his illustrations of Tennyson’s poems for reproduction, but seemingly also employed him to copy other drawings: a diary entry from 31 October 1864 reads ‘Paid young Underhill £2.10.0 for his work: a good Lad’.


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