Long a frequent traveller, Edward Lear's last extended journey was to India between 1873-1875. Though he was over sixty years old, the aging artist travelled thousands of miles over several months. The tropical vegetation of the area was particularly fascinating to the artist, as suggested by the present work's long, loosely painted vines and intricately detailed interwoven trunks of the trees, among which monkeys scamper (Vivien Nokes, The Painter Edward Lear, London, 1991, p. 92).
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