Edward Lear, Hebron (1858)

Edward Lear, Hebron, figures and camels, the city beyond, c.1858.
Signed ‘Edward Lear del.’ l.l., inscribed ‘Hebron’ l.r., pen and ink and watercolour heightened with white. 15.4 x 23cm.

With Leger Galleries, London, by December 1982.

Edward Lear travelled extensively around Europe, the near east and as far as India. He visited Hebron in April 1858, passing through Bethlehem en route to Petra. In a letter sent to Lady Waldrave on 27 May 1958 from Damascus, Lear discusses various compositional ideas for executing a painting for her. He says of Hebron: “….. there is Hebron, which is very particularly a Hewbrew antiquity, & is besides sufficiently picturesque to form a good picture: though why Abraham choose to live there I cannot think: I found it abominably cold & wet, & besides, they threw stones at me whenever I drew, so that I wished the whole population in Abraham’s bosom or elsewhere 20 times a day.”

The Saleroom.

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Edward Lear, Young Boys Bathing, Pisa in the Distance (1861-1863)

Edward Lear, Young boys bathing, Pisa in the distance.
Watercolour and bodycolour. Monogrammed and dated 1861 and 1863. 15 x 25cm.

The Saleroom.

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Edward Lear’s Views in Rome and Its Environs in colour

[17. Via Porta Pinciana, Rome looking to the Quirinal Palace.]

Edward Lear, Views in Rome and its Environs; Drawn from Nature and on Stone, lithographed title vignette of Ostia and 25 lithographed views of Rome and the Campagna by Lear, ALL HAND-COLOURED, list of plates, small loss to one corner of title-page, one blank margin of one plate frayed, disbound and loose, retaining defective old cloth binding lettered in gilt on spine [Abbey Travel 183], folio, T. M’Lean, 1841.

[3. Campagna, and Walls of Rome, looking to the Alban Mount from Villa Mattei.]

[18. Rome from the banks of the Tiber, Via Porta San Paolo looking to the Temple of Venus and Rome &c.]

[7. Frascati from Villa Mondragone, belonging to the Borghese.]


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Edward Lear, Jerusalem (1858)

Edward Lear, Jerusalem.
Inscribed and dated ‘Jerusalem/april.28.1858./(too cold to finish it)’ (lower right) and  variously annotated in pencil pen and brown ink, pencil and sepia wash. 20.6 x 31.1cm (8 1/8 x 12 1/4in).

Private collection, UK.

Edward Lear travelled to Jerusalem from Corfu, arriving on 27 March 1858. His diary records his travels outside the walls of the city, ‘We crossed the Kidron and went up the Mount of Olives – every step bringing fresh beauty to the city uprising behind’.1
Lear went on to camp for a week on the Mount of Olives making studies and preparatory drawings, having received a commission from Lady Waldegrave. He worked these up into many successful compositions such as View of Jerusalem 1858 (Tate Britain), and The Valley of Jehosaphat with Jerusalem beyond (sold in these rooms, 21 January 2015, lot 33).
Lear was particularly interested in the light at dawn and evening, the simple colour scheme of gold, green and purple working to excellent effect. He wrote, ‘just at sunrise the view of the city is most lovely…all gold and white beyond the dark fig and olive trees’.2

1 Vivien Noakes, Edward Lear 1812-1888, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1985, p.149.
2 Vivien Noakes, The Painter Edward Lear, David & Charles, London, 1991, p.72.


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Convolvulus Seasideiensis

Convolvulus Seasideiensis.
“This delicate Animal has been see in great Abundance this Autumn all round the Coast. It flourishes best in exposed situations, and during [Inclement], windy Weather.

19th Century School in the Manner of Edward Lear (1812-1888) – Ink drawing – “Convolvulus Seasideiensis” – a figure by the seaside with skirt blowing up in the wind with text below and one other drawing – profile of a gentleman reading a book, each 6.75ins x 4.5ins, in ebonised frame and glazed.

The Saleroom.

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Edward Lear Gezhir Eddomarieh (1854)

Edward Lear, A view on the Nile.
Indistinctly inscribed and dated G*zkir Eddomarie* [Gezhir Eddomarih] 25 Jan 1854 . ½PM (lower left) and numbered 129 (lower right). Watercolour. 6.5 x 14.9cm; 2½ x 5¾in

Private Collection, Wiltshire

The Saleroom.

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Edward Lear, Villa Adriana (1842)

Edward Lear, Villa Adriana.
Signed and dated ‘Edward Lear del 1842’ (lower right), titled (lower left). Pencil and black  chalk heightened with white. 24.1 x 36.9cm (9 1/2 x 14 1/2in).

Anon. sale, Phillips, London, 11 November 1997, lot 45.
Private collection, UK.


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Edward Lear, Sigæum (1856)

Edward Lear, Sigæum (30 September 1856, sunrise).
Pencil and watercolour. Signed and inscribed (lower left). 16 x 52cm (6¼ x 20¼ in.)

Sigeion or Sigæum (Latin) was an important site in the Troas (North-West Asia Minor, modern Turkey) at the mouth of the Hellespont, acquired by Athens in the late 7th century BCE.


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Edward Lear’s Topography of Greece

Leucada, 7.30 am, April 1863.

Rowena Fowler has recently updated her website with an important addition to the Edward Lear section about his “Topography of Greece,” a project Lear never completed, which joins the several pages devoted to his travels and works, as well as information on Rowena’s several other projects.

Lots of very nice images, collected in a very well organized form. Careful, this may keep you at your screen for hours: I’ll add a permanent link to the pages to the menu, so you can visit whenever you want.

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Aubrey Beardsley’s Limerick on Illustrating Le Morte Darthur

This manuscript records memories of Aubrey Beardsley’s mother about amateur theatricals put on at home by the adolescent Aubrey and his sister, Mabel, and her  son’s reluctance to fulfil his commission to illustrate an edition of Le Morte Darthur (1893–1894).

In response to maternal prodding, he replied with a limerick:

A youth for a very small salary
Did a cartload of drawings for Malory.
When they asked him for more
He only said ‘Sure
They’ve already enough for a gallery.

Grolier Club.

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