Edward Lear, Mount of Olives (1867)

Edward Lear, Mount of Olives.
Inscribed and dated ‘Mount of Olives./4.30. PM. 10 April 1867.’ (lower left); numbered ‘(31)’ (lower right); annotated throughout. Pen, ink and watercolour over traces of pencil. 24 x 50cm (9 7/16 x 19 11/16in).

Provenance
Craddock & Barnard, London.
Private collection, UK.

Having visited Egypt in the early months of 1867, Lear set off for Palestine, travelling by ‘the grumpy roarygroanery of camels’ across the desert, arriving at Gaza in early April. The visit was restricted to a few weeks, Lear’s intention to visit Nazareth and Galilee, places he had missed during his previous visit to the area in 1858, hindered by the volume of Easter pilgrims arriving in the area.1

1 Vivien Noakes, Edward Lear, The life of a Wanderer, London, 1968, pp. 217-218.

Bonhams.

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Edward Lear, Dendera (1867)

Edward Lear, Ruins at Dendera, Egypt.
A pair, one inscribed and dated ‘Denderah/3.PM.Jany.15/9.30.AM.Jany16.}1867’ (lower left); numbered ‘(No 7) (170)’ (lower right) and the other inscribed and dated ‘Dendera 8.45 AM/16.Jany 1867′ (lower left)’ numbered ‘(175)’ (lower right); both also annotated throughout. Pen, ink and watercolour heightened with bodycolour. each 16.2 x 34.4cm (6 3/8 x 13 9/16in).

The present works were painted during Lear’s third and final visit to Egypt, between December 1866 and March 1867. During mid-January Lear visited Dendera- a Temple 40 miles downriver from Luxor- and produced a series of numbered drawings. For similar examples see: Sotheby’s, London, 17 November 1988, lot 187 (numbered 176), Christie’s, London, 2 April 1996, lot 100 (numbered 169) and Bonhams, London, 6 December 2012, lot 102 (numbered 153).

Bonhams.

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Edward Lear, Damascus (1858)

Edward Lear, Damascus.
Inscribed, dated and numbered ‘Damascus. 28 May 1858. (217)’ (lower right); annotated throughout. Pen, ink and watercolour over traces of pencil. 19.4 x 55.2cm (7 5/8 x 21 3/4in).

Provenance
Craddock & Barnard, London.
Private collection, UK.

Having visited Jerusalem in the Spring of 1858, Lear set off for the Lebanon, travelling by boat from Jaffa, arriving in Beirut on the 11th May, and moving inland. Lear found the landscape too similar to Greece and Albania, although his opinion of Damascus was more positive, writing to Lady Waldegrave ‘imagine 16 worlds full of gardens rolled out flat, with a river and a glittering city in the middle’.1

1 Edward Lear, letter to Lady Waldegrave, quoted in Vivien Noakes, Edward Lear, The life of a Wanderer, London, 1968, p. 164.

Bonhams.

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Edward Lear, Near Sarténé, Corsica (1868)

Edward Lear, Near Sarténé, Corsica.
Signed with monogram (lower left) and inscribed and dated ‘near Sateréné [sic] 5 1/2 PM. April 18./ 1868.’ (lower right). Pencil and watercolour heightened with bodycolour and with scratching out. 6 7/8 x 16 ½ in. (17.5 x 41.9 cm.)

Provenance
with the Fine Art Society, London.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby’s, London, 21 January 1982, lot 221, where purchased for the present collection.

Lear made one visit to Corsica in 1868 and reached Sarténé, in the south of the island on 17 April. On 18 April he wrote in his diary, immortalised in his 1870 publication Journal of a Landscape Painter in Corsica, ‘I shall… try to get as many records as I can of the landscape, which is of a class rarely met with in such perfection’.

Christie’s.

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Edward Lear, The Esterelles, from near Antibes, France (1876)

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.

Christie’s.

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Edward Lear, Cervo, Imperia, Italy (1882)

Edward Lear, Cervo, Imperia, Italy.
Signed with monogram and dated ‘1882’ (lower right) and inscribed and dated ‘Cérvo./ 27 Decbr. 1881′ (lower left). Pencil and watercolour heightened with bodycolour. 10 7/8 x 21 in. (27.7 x 53.4 cm.)

Provenance
Francis Braham, Lady Waldegrave, and her husband Chichester Fortescue, Lord Carlingford;
Constance Braham, Lady Strachey, niece of Lady Waldegrave, and by descent.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby’s, London, 10 November 1994, lot 145, where purchased for the present collection.

Cervo is on the coast close to San Remo, where Lear was to build the Villa Tennyson, his last home.

Christie’s.

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Edward Lear, Lago di Nemi

Edward Lear, Lago di Nemi.
Pencil. Inscribed with colour notes by the artist.

Exhibited
Agnews.

Abbot and Holder.

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