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Letter to 'My dear Montgomery'

Edward Lear (1812-1888)


Signed, inscribed 'Villa Emily Sanremo' and dated '16. April. 1881'

Pen and ink on two sheets of paper

5 ¼ x 8 inches

'Chris Beetles Summer Show', 2021, No 29

Full transcription:
‘Villa Emily, Sanremo,
16 April 1881.
My dear Montgomery,
I am just about to pack & send off your 2 drawings of Athens – after all without any “howls” – large or small.
But I have to thank you for your criticism about the Parthenon, and it is bestonishing how much the drawing has improved since I have done away with the dark shadow, & the thunder-cloud. I could not have fancied so great a change
for the better, but the fact has been that I am often so blinded by the glare of Jenny Sneak’s Hotel, that I do not well see what colour I do or do not use.
I hope you will like the drawing now much better than you did, though I acknowledge it has many imperfections, – and when I have completed one more Athenian drawing (for H F Tozer,) I never intend to do any architectural subjects anymore, but to stick to pure landscape,
– trees – plains – hills – rivers – toads etc – but no prominent building henceforth & forever, my sight having been so injured by this Cursed Hotel that I cannot trust my one remaining eye for lines, diameters, hexameters, or thermometers. The 2 drawings are to be left in charge of {frames as you know are included in the price} Messrs Foord & Dickenson, 129 Wardour Street Oxford Street W London until you direct when & where they are to be sent. And you
can now at your pleasure & leisure, pay me the 70£ in a crossed cheque sent me here by post – the casual way; – or by paying the same into my account at Drummond’s, Charing Cross.
The box of drawings – (yours, Earl Derbys, Ld Wenlock’s & others –) will go off next week; & will be, I hope, in London, quite early in May.
I am so glad that you are so much better.
Yours sincerely,
Edward Lear
I send you a Grotograph of myself, lately taken, & thought to be good.’

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