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    Sale 7524

    Turin London Corfu The Collection of Giorgio Marsan and Umberta Nasi

    12 - 13 December 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 52

    Edward Lear (1812-1888)

    View of Katochori, on the island of Santa Maura, looking over Vlikho Bay and the Island of Scorpios, with the Greek mainland beyond, at dawn

    Price Realised  

    Edward Lear (1812-1888)
    View of Katochori, on the island of Santa Maura, looking over Vlikho Bay and the Island of Scorpios, with the Greek mainland beyond, at dawn
    inscribed and dated '5.30. AM. Katachori [sic]./19. April. 1863.' (lower left), and numbered '52' (lower right), and further inscribed with colour notes and place names in both English and Greek
    pencil, pen and brown ink and watercolour, heightened with touches of white
    10¾ x 18 3/8 in. (27.3 x 46.7 cm.)


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    Santa Maura is now known as Lefkada.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    The Hon. William Bruce.
    Dr. Dynely Hussey.
    With The Fine Art Society, London, 1986.


    Pre-Lot Text

    LEAR AND GREECE
    LOTS 52-60

    Views of the Seven Ionian Islands, published in 1863, was Lear's sixth book recording his travels. In its format he returned to his first book, Views in Rome and its Environs, by having lithographic illustrations with brief illustrations with a brief explanatory text for each, rather than including a personal journal.

    The illustrations were the product of a two months tour of the islands that Lear made in the spring of 1863. During these months he did numerous drawings in pencil, which he later penned out in ink and overlaid with watercolour washes.

    In preparing them for publication, he initially shied away from the prospect of transferring the drawings to lithographic stone, a task which involved transferring the drawings in reverse onto lithographic stone, a long and soulless operation that he had employed in his earlier published works. Instead, he played with the possiblility of using photography. In preparation for this he made versions of the drawings in charcoal, lampblack, pencil and chalk. Eventually, when these were not successful, he returned to lithography, producing a fine volume of work.

    How this most unusual and rare set of drawings (lots 54-56) fitted into his preparation is uncertain. They echo closely six of the eventual twenty lithographs in the book, but as slight sketches rather than finished drawings they are likely to have been part of the overall planning of the work - possibly at the stage when he was deciding which views to include - rather than being intended for reproduction.