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Edward Lear

Edward Lear (1812–1888)
View of Celano
Watercolor, pen and red ink, over faint indications in pencil, heightened with white, on gray wove paper
Corners cropped diagonally
Inscribed and dated by the artist, in pen and red ink at lower left, Celano. / 2d September. 1843., and at lower right, low vines
11 x 19 1/16 in. (280 x 484 mm)
Purchased as a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Morgan; 1977.20
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On 26 July 1843, Lear and his friend Charles Knight set forth on horseback on a two-week journey from Rome to Avezzano. When the friends parted, Lear spent the next few months retracing their journey on foot, stopping along the way to draw. The date for this work, 2 September 1843, places it on the artist's return trip. Lear used the drawing as the basis for a lithograph in his Illustrated Excursions in Italy (pl. 7). In his book he described Celano as "once an important fortress-town . . . [it] is now remarkable only for the extreme picturesqueness of its situation: it stands below a wondrous bare precipice on a hill overlooking the whole of the Lake of Fucino, though at a considerable distance from its edge; the space between the town and the water being filled with meadows and vineyards, and watered by the clearest of streams."

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.