In the spring and early summer of 1864, Lear, somewhat unintentionally, visited Crete. He had planned to stay in Corfu, however on arrival, he discovered that the British were leaving due to Prince William of Denmark’s acceptance to the Greek throne the previous year. He too departed on 4 April and, following a short visit to Athens, arrived in Khania in Crete on 11 April. He was somewhat disappointed by the island, writing that ‘its antiquities are so old as to be all but invisible’. There is an element of truth to this, as it was not until the end of the nineteenth century that Arthur Evans began to excavate and reconstruct the Palace at Knossos. Lear travelled east along the northern coast of Crete, and on 5 May set out early from Exopolis to Lake Kourna. By the afternoon, Lear had arrived at Episkopi, where he sketched the present sheet, capturing the ruins and landscape in the late afternoon.