Edward Lear, View of the Roman Campagna (1867)

Edward Lear, A Veiw of the Roman Campagna.
Dated ’24 March 1867′ l.l., pencil and pen and ink. 9 x 33cm.

Provenance: The Priory, Walsham-le-Willows.

The Saleroom.

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Edward Lear, Mount Generoso, Switzerland (1881-1882)

Edward Lear, Mount Generoso, Switzerland.
Two, both signed and inscribed, one dated ‘5.30pm, 9 Sept. 1881’, the other ‘5pm, 15 July 1882’, pen and brown ink over pencil. 10 x 17cm (2)

Provenance: The Tim Wonnacott Collection.

The Saleroom.

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Edward Lear, Terranova, Sicily (1847)

Edward Lear, Terranova, Sicily.
Inscribed and and dated ‘June 5 1847’ twice and numbered 105, with further annotations, pen and brown ink over pencil. 21.5 x 34cm

Provenance: The Tim Wonnacott Collection.

The Saleroom.

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Reading Material

The Telegraph has a short preview of Sara Lodge’s forthcoming book, Inventing Edward Lear (Google Books).

neuvièmeart 2.0: la revue de la Cité internationale de la bande dessinée et de l’image has an article on nonsense in comics, mostly French. You can read my essay on Verbeek and the nonsense tradition from Academia.edu.

And while discussing 19th-century comics, why not read these twon on Nadar?

Les bandes dessinées de Nadar, by Antoine Sausvert, at Töpfferiana,

Between Panoramic and Sequential: Nadar and the Serial Image, by Philippe Willems, at Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide.

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Hilary Knight’s Illustrations for The Owl and the Pussy-cat

Sixteen finished double-page watercolors for Hilary Knight’s The Owl and the Pussy-Cat (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1983), based on Edward Lear, watercolor, tempura, ink and color pencil, each 315 x 500 mm.
WITH: six preliminary pencil sketches of characters and double-page spreads; color photograph of Mr. Knight’s cat Skeezix, in front of the found photograph of a little girl who suggested Polly in the picture book; and inventory of the art.

Hilary Knight’s fantasia based on Edward Lear’s great nonsense ballad is among the artist’s most extraordinary achievements. Two children, Polly and Otto, visit Professor Comfort who transforms them into the famous Edward Lear characters and sends them off on a marvelous adventure. He is assisted by his pet monkey Arabella (originally a little girl in a fez as shown in one preliminary pencil sketch). The song the Owl sings was set to music by musical composer Douglas Colby on pp 18-19. The illustration of the Piggy-wig with the ring on the end of his nose on pp 24-25 is a puzzle page with references to all sorts of rings (key ring, earring, curtain ring, smoke ring, napkin ring, onion ring, boxing ring, spy ring, Wagner’s “The Ring” on the Victrola, bath tub ring, telephone ring, etc). The book was reissued with new endpapers, the front ones with a special foldout with Colby’s music.


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Edward Lear, El Koorneh (1854)

Edward Lear, El Koorneh, Egypt.
Titled and dated ’19.Feby, 1854′ lower left and with annotations pencil, pen and brown ink and wash on off-white paper 12 x 42.50cm (5 x 17in).

Spink & Son Ltd., 5, 6, 7 King Street, St James’s, SW1.

The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, holds another version of the present composition.

The Saleroom.

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Pussycat Pussycat

“Pussycat pussycat, where have you been?”
“I’ve been up to London to visit the Queen.”
“Pussycat pussycat, what did you there?”
“I frightened a little mouse under her chair”

First published in London during 1805 in the book Songs for the Nursery. Here.

Liza Blake, at The Collation. Research and Exploration at the Folger, summarises John Ogilby’s translation of Aesop’s fable “Of the Youngman and the Cat:”

One upon a time, there was a guy who really liked his cat—really liked her. So much so, that he prays to Venus, the goddess of love, to transform her from a cat into a woman he could marry. Venus grants his prayer, the couple marries, and as they are in their marriage bed Venus decides to test whether her transformation was complete. She sends a mouse running across the room, and the woman leaps out of bed, chasing it; Venus, upset that the woman transformed in body but not mind, changes her back into a cat.

Here is the illustration:

And here is a caricature of 1821 from the Recent Antiquarian Acquisitions at the Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University:

A kitchen scene [with a satire based on the fable of the “catspaw”]. A monkey with Wood’s head squats beside a plump cat with the head in profile of Queen Caroline. She sits gazing at the fire with an eagerly expectant smile. He puts his left hand on her shoulder and takes her right paw which is supported on his knee, looking fixedly at her with greedy expectation. Between the bars of the grate are four chestnuts like large potatoes. These are inscribed respectively: ‘Privileges’, ‘Rights’, ‘Liturgy’, ‘St Catherines’. Beside the grate and attached to a chain is a ‘Kettle of Fish’. Behind the cat is a big trap with steel teeth inscribed ’50 000 per Annum’. Behind it is a dresser, neatly arranged above a cupboard inscribed ‘Lately from St Omers’ [see British Museum Satires no. 13730]. On the dresser are a teapot and butterdish, each with a bust portrait of Bergami, and two cups, inscribed ‘BB’. There are also pans inscribed ‘Hash’ and ‘Stew’, a ‘Tinder’ box and bottle of ‘Brim-Stone’. On the chimneypiece, with other utensils, is a box of ‘Matches’.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • PrintmakerLane, Theodore, 1800-1828, printmaker.
  • TitleThe man of the woods & the cat-o’-mountain [graphic].
  • PublicationLondon : Pubd. by G. Humphrey, 27 St. James’s St., March 27, 1821.
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