Edward Lear, Agia Paraskevi, Epirus, Greece
Inscribed in Greek and dated ‘Ayia… 13.April.1857.’ (lower right) and variously inscribed with colour notes ‘Nightingales/dim roar below’ and further numbered and inscribed ’137./Longwise.alone’ (on the verso). Pencil, pen and brown ink and watercolour on paper. 12 7/8 x 20 1/8 in. (32.8 x 51.1 cm.).
Lear had first visited Epirus and Albania in 1848-9. On 2 April 1857 he left Corfu for another tour, returning on 23 April. As the artist’s notes on the drawing indicate, the area was dominated by the continuous ‘dim roar’ of the water in the gorge below. This region was difficult to penetrate, but, as Lear found, the drama of its landscape amply repaid the effort. A drawing of a nearby section of the gorge made on 12 April (the day before this one) was in Agnew’s 127th Annual Exhibition of Watercolours and Drawings in 2000, no. 82. The artist’s fingerprints are clearly visible in the washes near the top left and top right corners of this drawing.