Edward Lear, R.A. (1812-1888)
Potamos, Cerigo (present day Kythera)
Inscribed in pen and brown ink with location in Greek l.r. and dated: 21. May 5 P.M. 1863 and again in pencil and numbered 189, further extensively inscribed with colour notes and comments, pen and brown ink and watercolour over pencil, inscribed and numbered verso: 159/Lon…?
32 x 48 cm; 12 1/2 x 18 7/8 inches
This view is taken looking across the northern part of the village, from northeast towards the southwest. Mt. Myrmingari can be seen in the centre background, and Aghia Elessa is the rise to the left.
Lear’s extensive journal entry for 21st May 1863 finds him rising at 4 am and drawing much of the morning. After a lunch of cold fowl, old lettuce, ‘biled’ eggs and bad wine he continued climbing, enjoying the views until he reached the house of Pruestos where he sketched on the terrace in a high wind until 5 pm and lodged for the night. He noted that the Potamite women were tall and seems to have drawn one in the foreground of this drawing.
Lear undertook a tour of the Ionian Islands (other than Corfu) from 3rd April to 4th June 1863, shortly before the British left the Ionian Islands and their incorporation into Greece in 1864. He used the drawings for a book, ‘Views in the Seven Ionian Islands’, which was published in London in December 1863.