As part of London Art Week, Karen Taylor is organizing an exhibition that will include, together with seral other interesting Italian landscapes, two Lears I have not yet posted here.
Edward Lear, Tivoli.
Inscribed and dated l.l.: Tivoli May 7 …1838, pencil and grey wash heightened with white on light grey paper. 18 x 25 cm; 7 1/16 x 9 7/8 inches:
Lear set out for Italy in the summer of 1837. For most of the next ten years the artist wintered in Rome and toured other parts of Italy during the summer. This visit to Tivoli is referred to by Lear in a letter to his sister Ann dated 3rd May 1838; I, and Uwins and Mr Acland set off on Saturday – staying some days at many beautiful places all (of) which I will tell you about. I must now describe my dear Tivoli as I promised the height of landscape perfection (V. Noakes, Edward Lear, Selected Letters, Oxford, 1988, p. 41). The Uwins referred here was James, nephew of the more famous Thomas Uwins R.A. (1782-1857) lived in Italy from 1823-1831, often returning there in the subsequent summers. ‘Mr. Acland’, Leopold Dyke Acland, was one of Lear’s travelling companions, who, after leaving Tivoli, travelled on to the Bay of Naples in the summer of 1838. Acland joined Lear again for a tour of Sicily in the spring of 1842. Leopold was the son of Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, tenth baronet (1787-1871), a politician and philanthropist who with his wife visited Rome in the winter of 1837 and also patronised Joseph Severn who was friendly with their son Henry, a great friend of John Ruskin.
The Acland family;
Private collection, U.K.
Edward Lear, Val Montone, Italy.
Inscribed and dated l.l.: Val Montone-17 Oct.br 1840., inscribed with artist’s notes, graphite. 26 x 39.7 cm; 10 1/4 x 15 5/8 inches:
Lear went to Italy in the summer of 1837. For most of the next ten years the artist wintered in Rome and toured other parts of Italy during the summer. He spent the winter months in and around Rome making frequent visits to the Campagna. He wrote in a letter to his sister Ann that Val Montone was: one of the most elegant campagna towns and very curious: it is in a deep dell in the Latin valley- but rises on a mound- crowned with a superb church and castle-though the town itself is wretchedly poor…Fine trees are all around Val Montone- and it is altogether a delightfully quiet place (recorded in the 1930s typescript of the lost manuscript of Lear’s letters to Ann, 11 October 1838).
Another view of Val Montone is included in Views in Rome and its Environs, 1841, plate 25.
Sir Robert Vere ‘Robin’ Darwin KCB CBE RA RSA PRWA NEAC (1910 – 1974) was a British artist and Rector of the Royal College of Art. He was the son of the golf writer Bernard Darwin and his wife the engraver Elinor Monsell and a great-grandson of the naturalist Charles Darwin.
Sir Robin Darwin, R.A.;
Spink, where bought by the present owner;
Private collection, U.K.
Royal Academy, London, Edward Lear 1812-1888, 1985, no. 15i, ill p. 92