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A rest on the way to Pisa

Edward Lear (1812-1888)


Signed with monogram and dated 1861 and 1863

Watercolour with bodycolour

6 ¼ x 10 ¼ inches

Vivien Noakes, Edward Lear 1812-1888, London: Royal Academy of Arts, 1985, pages 126-127, catalogue number 39
Jenny Uglow,
Mr Lear. The Life of Art and Nonsense, London, Faber & Faber, 2017, pages 316-318

'Chris Beetles Summer Show 2023', Chris Beetles Gallery, London, June-September 2023

This painting of Pisa is probably one of a series of drawings that Lear referred to as his 'Tyrants'. Jenny Uglow mentions in her biography, Mr Lear. The Life of Art and Nonsense, that by the early 1860s and distressed by the lack of sales of his large paintings, he embarked on a series of smaller ones. 'Taking sixty sketches from his many travels, he made thirty small mounts and thirty larger. He stuck his paper onto these and for the next two days he made thirty outlines a day, giving each one a number: within a fortnight he was calling these his "Tyrants"'. In a sketch planning how he hung the finished paintings, this Pisa drawing is clearly identifiable as number 33 which he hung on the Southside wall of his gallery.

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