Janina and the ruined castle of Ali Pasha stands in a striking situation on a lake, fifty miles inland from the shore opposite Corfu. At the time Lear drew the present watercolour the town was Turkish and it remained as such until captured by the Greeks in 1913.
By 1857 Lear was living on Corfu. He had settled there in December 1855 after his friend, Franklin Lushington, was appointed Judge to the Supreme Court of Justice in the Ionian Islands. He made the island his home until 1863 when Prince William of Denmark accepted the throne and the majority of British residents left the island.
Another watercolour by Lear of this view, also dated April 1857, was included in the exhibition: Edward Lear in Greece: A loan exhibition from the Gennadius Library, Athens, 1971-2.
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