Edward Lear, Saint Moritz, Switzerland, watercolour on grey paper, depicting a panoramic landscape, with a village nestling at the foot of a range of snow-topped mountains, trees in the foreground to the left, and clouds gathering overhead, annotated in brown ink by the artist lower right ‘101.H.’, with pencilled title ‘St. Maurice’ to verso also in the artist’s hand, and additional sketches by the artist to verso of a standing man and seated woman in Swiss costume, as well as a small sketch of a panoramic landscape, 15.5 x 23.9cm (6 1/8 x 9 3/8ins), mounted, framed and glazed (33.4 x 41.7cm), backboard with typed label detailing Sotheby’s provenance and printed label of The Rowley Gallery, London
Provenance: Sotheby’s, July 29th, 1971.
This drawing is almost certainly one of a number dating from Edward Lear’s tour of Europe in the summer of 1837. On July 10th that year the artist boarded the Antwerp packet, accompanied by his sister, Ann, who travelled with him as far as Brussels. On leaving Belgium Lear travelled through Luxembourg, Germany and Switzerland, reaching the Italian lakes by the autumn, arriving in Florence in November and Rome in December. In 2012 Christie’s sold a drawing of Sion in Switzerland by Lear, dated 17th September 1837, which, like the present work, was annotated with an ‘H’ to the lower right corner (Christie’s, London, Old Master & Early British Drawings and Watercolours, 3rd July 2012, lot 156).
We are grateful to Charles Nugent, former curator of British Drawings at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, and author of Edward Lear the Landscape Artist: Tours of Ireland and the English Lakes, 1835 & 1836, for assistance with this catalogue description.