Edward Lear, Ascalon, Palestine.
Watercolour over pencil, heightened with touches of bodycolour; signed with monogram lower right. 105 by 205 mm.
John, Lord D’Ayton (1922-2003);
thence by descent to the present owners.
The sculptor Thomas Woolner (1825-1892) believed that Lear’s Holy Land drawings were ‘the most beautiful things he has ever done…not only for the mystery and history attached to the places themselves but also for the excessive fineness, tenderness and beauty of the art displayed in them.’1
Lear visited Palestine after leaving Cairo in the spring of 1867. He spent several days sketching at Memphis before travelling on to Jerusalem. On the way he stopped at Ascalon, where he executed the present work.
1. V. Noakes, Edward Lear 1812-1888, London 1985, p. 112.