Edward Lear (London 1812-1888 San Remo)
Property from the Estate of Harry Grubert
Edward Lear (London 1812-1888 San Remo)

A view of Mahe, Kerala, India

Edward Lear (London 1812-1888 San Remo)
A view of Mahe, Kerala, India
signed with monogram (lower left) and inscribed 'Mahee.' (lower right)
pencil and watercolor heightened with bodycolor
6 5/8 x 10 ¼ in. (16.8 x 26 cm)
Lady Adelaide Daumay.
T. Bull.
Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 22 March 1966, lot 47.
Mrs Frank.
with Martyn Gregory, London.
Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 10 December 2008, lot 51.
with Stephen Ongpin Fine Art, London.
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.
London, The Fine Art Society, Edward Lear, a Centenary Exhibition, 1988, unnumbered.
Italy, San Remo, Cittá di Sanremo Assessorato Turismo e Manifestazioni, 1997, unnumbered.

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Lot Essay

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 expenses 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 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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