View full screen - View 1 of Lot 65. View of the Acropolis and the temple of Hephaistos, Athens.
65

Edward Lear

View of the Acropolis and the temple of Hephaistos, Athens

Property of a gentleman

Edward Lear

Edward Lear

View of the Acropolis and the temple of Hephaistos, Athens

View of the Acropolis and the temple of Hephaistos, Athens

Authenticity guarantee

What is guaranteed?

Property of a gentleman

Edward Lear

London 1812 - 1888 San Remo

View of the Acropolis and the temple of Hephaistos, Athens


Pen and brown ink and watercolor over pencil, heightened with white;

inscribed lower right: Athens - from the West / June 5-6-7- 1848 / 5; further inscribed with extensive color notes

319 by 495 mm; 12¾ by 19½ in.

Hinge mounted to a modern mount. There is some slight rubbing to the extremities probably as a result of an old mount. There are two pin prick holes to the upper left and right corners. There is some very light toning to the sheet and some minor staining and minor areas of foxing in places. The combination of media remains well intact throughout with the overall image strong and legible. Sold in a modern decorative gilded frame.


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.

NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

R. Fowler and E. Well, Edward Lear's Grecian Travels, on-line edition, unnumbered

Lear made this on-the-spot drawing over three successive days (between 5 and 7 July 1848) shortly after arriving in Athens on his inaugural tour of Greece. The previous month, in Corfu, he had met Sir Stratford and Lady Canning who had asked him to accompany them to Constantinople, where Sir Stratford had recently been appointed British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire.


In Athens, the Cannings organized for Lear to stay at the British embassy and Lear also met up with his friend, Charles Church (1825-1915), with whom he explored the city and traveled more widely in northern Greece.


Understandably, Lear could not wait to begin exploring and he wrote to his sister Ann the following day: ‘I have risen as early as I could this morning, & surely never was anything so magnificent as Athens!.... The beauty of the temples I know well from endless drawings – but the immense sweep of plain with exquisitely formed mountains down to the sea - & the manner in which that high mass of rock – the Acropolis – stands above the modern town with its glistening white marble ruins against the deep blue sky is quite beyond expectations.’1


A comparable drawing by Lear, showing this scene from a slightly different viewpoint, was sold at Christie's in 2008.2


1. V. Noakes, Edward Lear: Selected Letters, Oxford 1988, p. 76

2. Sale, London, Christie's, 4 June 2008, lot 30 ($77,790)