Lear arrived in India in November 1873 and was immediately struck by the landscape around him: 'O new Palms! O flowers! O creatures! O beasts!!...anything more overpoweringly amazing cannot be Conceived!!! Colours, & costumes, & myriadism of impossible picturesqueness!!!' (Lear's Indian Journal, 22 November 1873, in V. Noakes, Edward Lear: The Life of a Wanderer, London, 2006, p. 227).
He spent fifteen months travelling around the country recording the sights he saw in his sketchbooks before moving on to Ceylon towards the end of 1874.
Bhurtpore (or Bharatpur) is located in the Rajputana district in northern India and was the site of an important siege during the Burmese Wars between 1823 and 1887.
For a watercolour by Lear of Ceylon see lot 87.