Edward Lear, On the lagoon, looking over to San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, Italy.
Signed with monogram, inscribed and dated ‘Venice. 1865. EL’ (lower left). Pencil and watercolour. 6 ½ x 10 ¼ in. (16.5 x 26 cm.)
Lear arrived in Venice in the autumn of 1865 after an unsuccessful year in Nice. He took gondolas out into the canals and lagoon in order to capture the interplay of water and architecture unique to Venice. Whilst there he made much of his work in flowing washes of watercolour, such as in the present drawing, capturing the ever-changing light of the city which had so fascinated earlier artists such as J.M.W. Turner and James Abbott McNeill Whistler.