Lear left Corfu on 4 March 1864 when it ceased to be a British Protectorate with the transfer of the Ionian Islands to Greece. In the spring of 1863, before leaving the 'loveliest place in the world' (V. Noakes, Edward Lear 1812-1888, London, 1985, p. 108) Lear toured the other Ionian Islands, Paxos, Levkas, Ithaca, Cephalonia, Kythera and finally Zante, gathering material for his Views in the Seven Ionian Islands which was published on 1 December 1863. Plate XII of the series is a view of Argostoli, the capital of Cephalonia with the Black Mountain behind, so called because of the 'great pine-forest at the top' as described by Lear in the text accompanying the lithograph.
Lear's drawings of Cephalonia were all dated between 2 and 8 May, the present drawing was executed mid way through this trip. Another undated view showing the Black Mountain was sold in these Rooms, 12 December 2007, lot 56.
Gilbert Davis (1899-1983), a previous owner of this drawing, was an actor and writer who ammassed a collection of over 3,000 drawings of British artists and other artists working in Britain.