Edward Lear (London 1812-1888 San Remo)
Lear visited Egypt for the third time in early 1867, almost thirteen years after his previous visit. He set off from England in December 1866 and within a few days of arriving in Cairo he began to make plans to head up the Nile, intent on getting at least as far as the Second Cataract. The following two watercolours reflect his route south towards the Second Cataract. Lear intended to publish his Nile tour as part of his 'Journals of a Landscape Painter'. The scheme was never realised and instead Lear used the drawings as later inspiration. The double dates on the drawings indicate that the artist used drawings made on the spot as the basis for later studio works. The earlier date indicates the precise date when Lear was making his sketches, the later date when he used these sketches for his studio works. Lear created an enormous working library of drawings and studies from his travels around the world and he would return to them frequently for inspiration, or as in the case with these drawings, work them up later into finished watercolours. For another watercolour from this trip see lot 155.
Edward Lear (London 1812-1888 San Remo)

The First Cataract at Shelaal on the River Nile, Egypt

Details
Edward Lear (London 1812-1888 San Remo)
The First Cataract at Shelaal on the River Nile, Egypt
signed with monogram and dated '1884' (lower right) and inscribed '1st Cataract/ Shelaal Jany 29 1867' (lower left)
pencil and watercolour heightened with touches of white
3 ½ x 6 7/8 in. (8.9 x 17.5 cm.)
Provenance
with Albany Gallery, London.
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