These two drawings of views in the neighbourhood of Khania were executed during Lear's visit to Crete in 1864. He left Corfu on 4 April, travelled via Athens, and arrived at Khania, the chief harbour in the west of Crete, on 11 April, the day before he painted the general view on the smaller of these two drawings, which is inscribed 'Canea/12 April/1864'. Lear's diary describes how in the afternoon he went with his servant Giorgio Cocali and Mr. Guarracino, a young merchant and the Dutch consul with whom Lear stayed, to a village on the peninsular of Akrotiri at that time called Halépa, two miles east of Khania; this view was presumably taken from near there (see R. Fowler, ed., Edward Lear: The Cretan Journal, Athens and Dedham, 1984, pp. 26-8).
From 14 April, Lear stayed in Mr. Guarracino's country house at Halépa, exploring the district. On 22 April, the date of the larger drawing in this lot, Lear rose at 5.30 am. and visited the monastery at Aghia Triadha. Then, at 7.00 am., he set out and recorded: 'I drew once or twice more before 10.30, when we reached a spot looking over the bay at Haniá... Here we lunched' (Fowler, op.cit., pp. 38-8). Lear shows one of the tiny Byzantine chapels that are found in the area. Lear then set off west from Halépa on 26 April, stayed there again from 30 April to 2 May, after which he explored to the east as far as Herakleion and Knossos. After returning to Halépa on 25 May, he left Crete from Khania on 31 May.