Edward Lear, Zante

Edward Lear, Zante.
signed with artist’s monogram (lower left). Watercolour over pencil heightened with bodycolour on paper. 11.5 by 18.5cm., 4½ by 7in. Executed circa 1863.

Agnews, London, until 1990

Zante is situated eight miles south of Cephalonia and is one of the Ionian islands. The present watercolour shows a view of the town of Zante (or Zakynthos) from the foothills of Mount Skopos.
Lear was introduced to Corfu and the Ionian islands, then under British protectorate, by Sir George Ferguson Bowen in 1848. He re-visited the area in the spring of 1863, when he took two months to tour the islands.
The present watercolour can be dated to this second tour, as he only started using a monogram to sign his works after 1858. He visited Zante at the end of May 1863 and spent a few days sketching there.


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