Journals of a Landscape Painter in Southern Calabria, &c.LEAR, Edward
London: Richard Bentley. 1852
First edition. 8vo. (255 by 155mm).pp. xx, [iv] 284, 4pp of advertisements. Frontispiece map of Part of the Kingdom of Naples, Province of Calabria Ulteriore Prima and a second map of the Provinces of Principato and Basilicato &c. Twenty lithographs by Lear printed by Hullmandel and Walton. Original blue cloth, binder's label on rear pastedown (Bound by Edmonds and Remnants, London). Spine gilt decorated and with author, title and publisher stamped in gilt. Upper and lower covers blindstamped. Binding is fine. Cream endpapers, bookplate of Kennet of the Dene on front pastedown. Contents are fine and the plates in excellent condition. Loosely inserted is an engraving by Brandard of a drawing by Samuel Prout of the Forum at Rome. A very nice copy.
Due to frequent ill health, Edward Lear spent much of his life in Southern Europe living in Italy from 1837. In 1847, Lear travelled extensively in southern Italy and Sicily. These were hard journeys to remote areas but this hardship made for wonderful material both visual and written. By the September of 1847, Lear has made the decision not to return to Calabria as “all that part of Italy is at present in too unsettled a state to admit of prosperous artistic tours”. He soon decides to leave Italy altogether and 1848 sees his first journey to Greece and Albania which is the subject of the book published the year before this one. Lear’s practice was to record his travels in image form during the day with coloured wash drawings. He would then, during the evening add his written record of the day’s events in diary form.