Edward Lear, The Esterelles, from near Antibes, France.
Signed with monogram and dated ‘1876’ (lower right) and inscribed and dated ‘The Esterelles/ from near Antibes./ Feby. 1865’ (lower left). Pencil and watercolour heightened with bodycolour. 10 3/8 x 16 in. (26.4 x 40.6 cm.)
Lear spent the winter between 1864 and 1865 in Nice, travelling along the coast recording the views that he saw in pencil and watercolour. This large drawing of the Esterelles was executed at the end of his stay in France. Whilst in Nice he was working on a number of the highly finished watercolours he produced for sale and exhibition and to which he referred as his ‘Tyrants’. The later date in this drawing refers to the fact that he returned to the subject in 1876 and developed the composition further, a practice that he undertook on a number of occasions.