View full screen - View 1 of Lot 10. Bab el Kalabshe on the Nile.
10

Edward Lear

Bab el Kalabshe on the Nile

Estimate:

30,000 to - 50,000 GBP

Property from a Scottish Private Collection

9

10

11

Edward Lear

Edward Lear

Bab el Kalabshe on the Nile

Bab el Kalabshe on the Nile

Estimate:

30,000 to - 50,000 GBP

Property from a Scottish Private Collection

Edward Lear

British

1812 - 1888

Bab el Kalabshe on the Nile


signed with initials lower left; inscribed Bab el Kalabshe on the Nile on the overlap; inscribed, signed and dated Bab el Kalabshe. on the Nile / Edward Lear / 1871 on a label on the stretcher and signed and dated Edward Lear 1871 on a label on the stretcher

oil on canvas

Unframed: 24.5 by 47.5cm., 9½ by 18¾in.

Framed: 40 by 63cm., 15¾ by 24¾in.

The canvas has not been lined and is providing a strong and stable support to the paint surface. There is an uneven and discoloured varnish layer and some surface dirt. The work would likely benefit from a clean. There is some craquelure notably to the centre. Otherwise the work appears in good condition, ready to hang.


Please note that Condition 11 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

This recently rediscovered oil, painted in 1871, is appearing for the first time at auction having remained in private hands for three generations. The painting provides a fascinating record of old Kalabsha, situated on the Nile about 50km south of Aswan and now submerged under Lake Nasser. A lone dhow graces the water in the distance, while figures amble to the edge of the river on the right. The rocks glow in the desert heat and a tinge of pink bathes the left edge of the river bank that curves out of sight. The clear and brilliant colour of Egypt and in particular the Nile, both challenged and astonished Lear, and the present work is a culmination of this admiration.

Lear had previously sketched Kalabsha on his third visit to Egypt in 1867. Early in the year he painted areas around Dendour and Philae and notably at 5.10pm on the 16 February painted at 'Bab el Kalabshe' according to an inscribed watercolour now in the collection of the Yale Centre for British Art. Two days later he was ‘between Daboad & Phila’ and produced a watercolour of a large boat on the river’s bank, and subsequently two other watercolours executed in February 1867 feature the same vessel. This might have been the ship he was travelling on and the same as that he chose to depict in this oil, painted four years later.

After extensive travelling through Europe and the Middle East, in March 1871 Edward Lear settled in San Remo, where he built a house he called Villa Emily after his friend and wife of poet Alfred Tennyson. He published Nonsense Songs, Stories, Botany and Alphabets which included his famous nonsense song, The Owl and the Pussycat. He also executed a number of oils re-visiting his sketches, studies and notes from Egypt, producing the present work, and paintings titled Nile boats near Deir el kadige, Sunset on the Nile, above Aswan and Negadeh, on the Nile near Thebes.