On the 5th of July 2017 Christies will auction 3 drawings by Edward Lear. We have made already a lot of Lear posts on this blog but here are three unpublished images. A very nice impression of the monastery of Paulou with Mount Athos in the background made in 1856.
The monastery of Konstamonitou hidden in a valley.
The third drawing made with pencil, pen and brown ink and watercolour depicts the monastery of Koutloumousiou near Karyes with again the mountain in the background.
A closer view (detail) on Koutloumousiou.
Detail without the landscape of Paulou monastery in 1856. If you look closely you will see that the drawing is inscribed with colour notes throughout. That means that it is a study for a later painting. Three years earlier , in 1853, this photograph (detail) was made. This is probably the first photo of Paulou ever made.
A well known fact is that Lear during his visit in 1856 was not very fond of the monastic way of live and was annoyed with the monks but he loved the architecture and the landscapes of the Holy Mountain. He wrote to his sister Anne:
‘one crosses a ridge of hills, whence Mount Athos is first discovered – a blue peak on a bluer sea – seen above the most wondrous forests of beech I ever beheld. Nothing did I ever behold more lovely than those views’. As he crossed to the isthmus, the path became ‘most toilsome through the wildest and grandest forest scenery – from which every now and then you looked out on such screens and depths of green wood as would astonish those who talk of England as having more trees than other countries’.
Oh, and if you want a nice piece of Athos-art on the wall above the couch click here.