The present watercolour is inspired by 'The Gardener's Daughter' a poem by Tennyson. 'The Gardner's Daughter' is an intensely descriptive English idyll. Its subtitle The Pictures immediately draws a link with visual art. The poem is a dramatic monologue of a tale of love that unravels throughout the poem. However, Tennyson introduces another layer as his 'romantic' episodes are relayed as a series of recognisable Victorian genre scenes.
Lear loved English gardens and English scenery and believed that his landscape art could complement Tennyson's descriptions. He felt particularly that Tennyson's poetic backdrops could be expressed through distant landscapes. Here he uses Tivoli at twilight to illustrate the episode when the narrator wanders in the evening, having fallen in love with the gardener's daughter, Rose.
Lear executed three other watercolours linked to this poem. One drawn at Tivoli and two others using the landscape of Mount Lebanon.