Lear had a lifelong admiration for Alfred Tennyson and in the year Tennyson became Poet Laureate, 1850, the two met. Whilst never close friends, they were acquaintances and from time to time Lear would stay at the Tennyson's home, Farringford, on the Isle of Wight. Tennyson never took much interest in Lear's paintings, but in 1852 Lear wrote to Tennyson's wife, Emily, asking if she liked the idea of landscape illustrations inspired by Tennyson's poetry. The suggestion was met with favour and Lear began a project that would take him through until the end of his life. The present watercolour is an illustration to Tennyson's poem Eleänore for which he created three different works, the present watercolour, another of Joannina and one of Lago Luro.