Rome, 15 December 1837

Edward Lear (1812 - 1888)

Pencil, pen and ink and wash on paper

15 December 1837
  • About the work
    Country: Holy See
    City: Vatican City
    Place: British Embassy

    Edward Lear’s view of Rome was drawn shortly after his arrival there on the first of many visits. It is one of the numerous drawings Lear made of Rome, twenty-five of which were used for his volume of lithographs entitled 'Views in Rome and its Environs drawn from Nature on Stone' (1841). Drawn in chalk with wash, it is an early example of Lear's landscape style.

    Lear lived in Italy from 1837 to 1848, where his landscapes found a market among the English community. Queen Victoria was so impressed by Lear’s 'Illustrated Excursions in Italy', that she took a set of twelve drawing lessons from him.

  • About the artist
    Edward Lear, best known for nonsense verse and limericks, was also a topographical landscape painter, musician, travel writer, ornithological and natural history draughtsman and an illustrator. Largely self-taught as a painter, he began by drawing animals at Knowsley Hall menagerie; later moving to landscape painting. He lived in Italy from 1837 to 1848, returning briefly when Queen Victoria requested twelve drawing lessons. He later studied at the Royal Academy Schools (1850-51). In 1852 he was introduced to William Holman Hunt, whose paintings became a great influence. From the early 1860s, Lear’s reputation as a landscape painter declined, perhaps partly a result of the mass-produced watercolours he made, which he called ‘Tyrants’.
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  • Details
    Rome, 15 December 1837
    15 December 1837
    Pencil, pen and ink and wash on paper
    height: 22.00 cm, width: 33.50 cm
    Purchased from Agnew, April 1952
    GAC number