Edward Lear, RA (British, 1812–88)

Amalfi, Italy

31 lear amalfi_31 lear amalfi_-800


Inscribed and dated l.r.: Amalphi./8 June. 1844, pen and brown ink on buff paper

50 x 36 cm

Lear lived in Rome from 1841 until 1848 as part of an international community of artists. He had a comfortable income, as sales of his work went well. During the summers he travelled to other parts of Italy, producing fluent drawings such as the present example. His love of nonsense can be seen in the spelling of ‘Amalphi’.

Provenance: Nicolas Powell (1920–86); thence by descent until 2017

Cape Malawar, Greece

Cape Malawar, Greece


Extensively inscribed and dated 25. May 1863 4 P.M., numbered and inscribed on verso: 168/upright/next above lowest, pen and ink and watercolour

6.9 x 19.5 cm

Lear drew this on the steamer Europa which he boarded from the island of Cerigo (present day Kythera) at 12.30 pm on 25 May 1863, having left in bright sunshine and with a rolling sea ‘too much to be pleasant’. His journal suggests that he drew the present drawing either at dinner, or just before, as this is recorded as having been served at 4 pm.

See Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Eng. 797.3, transcribed by Marco Graziani.