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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 92

    Edward Lear (1812-1888)

    View of Taggia, Liguria, Italy

    Price Realised  


    Edward Lear (1812-1888)
    View of Taggia, Liguria, Italy
    inscribed and dated 'Taggia/17 October.1870/3-5. PM./The Mass 88 is too large in/proportion to the mass/00' (lower left) and further inscribed with colour notes
    pencil, pen and brown ink and brown wash
    15 x 21½ in. (38.1 x 54.6 cm)

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    Lear executed this drawing in the afternoon from the other side of the town to lot 93, Lear records in his diary: 'Taggia must have been a fine place once'.

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    Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 11 November 1982, lot 27.

    Pre-Lot Text

    Lots 92-94.

    In March 1870 Edward Lear signed a contract to purchase land in San Remo. The purpose of which was to build Villa Emily, where Lear planned to spend his final years. Although the landscape of San Remo was as disappointing for Lear as it had been five years previously, (he described it as 'bald, with skimpy meagre olive trees'), the land was cheap and far enough away from the rumblings of the Franco-Prussian War. The lengthy building of Villa Emily meant that Lear travelled extensively around the surrounding areas of San Remo. In order to escape summer heat of the coast, Lear went up into the mountains near Turin, residing in the hotel La Certosa del Pesio. Although this was a particularly difficult time for Lear, in terms of poor health and financial worry, he was not deterred, exclaiming in his diary: 'I hate life unless I work always'. Subsequently he produced many ink sketches of numerous places between San Remo and Turin.

    These watercolours are executed in pencil and penned out in his studio. Lear would have felt no need to go back and add washes of colour as he had no intention of showing these drawings as there was lat that time little likelihood of future commissions or a resultant publication.


    London, The Fine Art Society, The Travels of Edward Lear, October - November 1983, no. 10.