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Roman Catholic Cemetery at Palaiopolis, Kalligoni, Lefkada, Greece

Edward Lear (1812-1888)


Inscribed 'R C Cemetery. Καλιγόνι & Κούλμος in Παλαιόπολη', 'Santa Maura' '(68)', 'bright green corn', 'rox in shadow' and colour notes, and dated '23 April 1863. 5.30pm'

pen ink and watercolour on paper laid on board

5 ½ x 9 ½ inches

Martyn Geeff; a Hampstead Collection

'Pen as Pencil: Drawings and Paintings by British Authors', British Council Exhibition at the Internationaal Cultureel Centrum, Antwerp, 1973, No 42a; 'Chris Beetles Summer Show', Chris Beetles Gallery, 2019, No 40

Beginning in 1848, Edward Lear made several visits to the Ionian Islands, which had been in British possession since the 1810s. In 1862, when the islands were about to be returned to Greece, he wintered in Corfu and spent the following April and May touring the other islands, making sketches for paintings. In addition to the present watercolour, Lear made several drawings on Lefkada (or Santa Maura as it was then known), including views of Cape Ducato, where the poet, Sappho, had leapt to her death. One image of Cape Ducato appeared in the volume, Views in the Seven Ionian Islands, which Lear published in London in December 1863.

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