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    Sale 7635

    British Art on Paper

    10 December 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 51

    Edward Lear (1812-1888)

    A view of Mahee, India

    Price Realised  


    Edward Lear (1812-1888)
    A view of Mahee, India
    signed with monogram (lower left) and inscribed 'Mahee' (lower right) with further inscription 'MAHEE, MALABAR.' (on the mount)
    pencil and watercolour heightened with touches of bodycolour
    6 5/8 x 10¼ in. (16.8 x 26 cm.)

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    Lear's expedition to India and Ceylon was the last, and longest, trip that he ever took. Lear was over sixty when Lord Northbrook (1826-1904), who was then Viceroy, invited him to travel to the sub-continent with all his expenses being taken care of. Initially he was reluctant to go, but on arrival he became 'nearly mad from sheer beauty & wonder of foliage! O new Palms!!! O flowers!! O creatures!! O beasts!! - anything more overpoweringly amazing cannot be Conceived!'. He reached Mahee at the beginning of November 1874, after travelling the country for almost a year, and was immediately taken by the scenery; '...the view there is a stunner!!! As a river scene can any other equal it?' (V. Noakes, Edward Lear, London, 1991, pp. 92-93).

    Mahee is a small town on the Malabar coast in southern India on the Arabian Sea; its name means 'eyebrow of the sea' in the local language.

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    Lady Adelaide Daumay.
    Mrs Frank.
    T. Bull.
    Christie's, London, 22 March 1966, lot 47.
    with Martyn Gregory, London.

    Pre-Lot Text

    Property from an Estate


    R. Murphy (ed.), Edward Lear's Indian Journal. Watercolours and extracts, 1873-1875, London, 1953, p. 209.
    V. Noakes, The Painter Edward Lear, London, 1991, p. 93, illustrated.


    Italy, Sanremo, Cittá di Sanremo Assessorato Turismo e Manifestazioni, 1997.
    London, The Fine Art Society, A Centenary Exhibition, 1988.