George Dennis CME (1814-1898)
The Puerta Romana, Cordova
Signed with initials, inscribed and dated verso: G.D. 1836/Puerta Romana/Cordoba, watercolour over pencil
22 x 32 cm
Bernard Williams Weller (1870-1944), journalist and critic
George Dennis was an English artist, explorer and writer. He left school at 15 but was a prodigious linguist, who taught himself ancient Greek and Latin then learnt Spanish, French, Portuguese and several other languages. His intrepid spirit inspired his first visit to Spain in the 1830s. From Cadiz he travelled to Grenada through the Sierra Nevada, visiting Cacin, Alhama, the Tajo, the Sierra Tejada, Velez, Malaga and Ronda. He continued on to Gibraltar via Benadalid, Gaucin, Posada amongst other places and then finally returned to Cadiz. The roads were dangerous and he encountered difficulties with banditti. He also ventured further north visiting Tudela, Zaragoza, Toledo and Illesas. His first work, ‘A Summer in Andalucia’ (2 volumes) was published in 1839.
Dennis travelled further in Italy and made an illustrated study of the cemeteries of Etruria, which was published in 1848 by the British Museum, London and he completed the first account of Etruscan sources in the modern era.
He joined the Colonial Service later in life and became vice-consul to Sicily, and subsequently to Benghazi and Smyrna. He was a companion of the Order of St Michael and St George.