The great Karnak temple complex, only a few miles from Luxur, is part of the monumental city of Thebes and sits on the banks of the Nile. The majority of the site was constructed during the eighteenth and nineteenth Dynasties (circa 1540-1225 BC), and the present drawing depicts the Temple of Amon. Lear visited Karnak on both of his excursions up the Nile, once in February 1854 and again in 1866-67. On his 1854 visit, he spent as long as ten days exploring Karnak, the ruined temples at Thebes and the tombs in the Valley of the Kings. The signature and finished quality to the present drawing suggests that Lear completed the work upon his return to England.
Although the sheet may have darkened slightly with time the general condition of this watercolour remains good. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."