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Edward Lear (1812-1888)

The Pass of Tyrana, Albania

Edward Lear (1812-1888)
The Pass of Tyrana, Albania
signed and dated 'Edward Lear del. 1851 (?)' (lower right) and inscribed 'Pass of Tyrana/Albania' (lower left)
pencil, pen and brown ink and watercolour heightened with touches of bodycolour on paper
10¾ x 15 5/8 in. (27.3 x 39.7 cm.)
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Harriet Drummond
Harriet Drummond

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Lot Essay

On 27 September 1848 Lear reached the Pass above the small town of Tirana, the bureaucratic capital of Albania, which in the 19th Century was noted for its beautifully ornamented mosques. He was deeply impressed by the landscape: 'How glorious, in spite of the dimming sirocco haze, was the view from the summit, as my eyes wandered over the perspective of winding valley and stream to the farthest edge of the horizon - a scene realising the fondest fancies of the artist's imagination!...silver-white goats (which chime so picturesquely in with such landscapes as this) stood motionless as statues on the highest pinnacle, sharply defined against the blue sky...It was difficult to turn away from this magnificent mountain view...that calm blue plain, with Tomhor in the midst, like an azure island in a boundless sea' (S. Hyman (ed.), Edward Lear in the Levant, London, 1988, p. 87).

An oil painting of the same view was sold at Sotheby's Belgravia, 24 October 1978, lot 28.

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