Edward Lear, Dendera, with a View of the Nile (1867)

Edward Lear, Dendera, with a View of the Nile.
Inscribed and dated ‘Dendera/9.15./16 Jany.1867′ (lower left); numbered ‘176’ (lower right); variously annotated throughout. Pen, ink and wash. 17 x 50.5cm (6 11/16 x 19 7/8in).

Anon. sale, Sotheby’s, London, 17 November 1988, lot 187.
Spink, London.
Private collection, UK.

The present lot was executed during Lear’s third and final visit to Egypt, between December 1866 and March 1867. During January Lear visited Dendera – a Temple 40 miles downriver from Luxor – and produced a series of numbered drawings. For similar examples see a pair of works sold Bonhams, London, 26 September 2019 (numbered 170 & 175); Christie’s, London, 2 April 1996, lot 100 (numbered 169) and Bonhams, London, 6 December 2012, lot 102 (numbered 153).

As common with Lear’s drawings, various inscriptions and colour notes are scattered throughout the present lot (for example ‘tawny’ and ‘sandy’). In the middle foreground is commentary that the ‘Pylon [is] “very old” & crumbly’. Further in the distance, scribbled over an expanse of land is the observation that prior to reaching the Nile, there is a ‘tawny plain of undulating dust’.


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