View from the Hotel Reale, Varenna, Lake Como

View from the Hotel Reale, Varenna, Lake Como



Edward Lear (1812-1888)
View from the Hotel Reale, Varenna, Lake Como

Extensively inscribed lower left:
Hotel Reale/(Marcioni) (Daisy)/Varenna/Lago di Como/21. Augt. 1878/11.30. AM/wonderful Oleanders
Pen and brown ink and watercolour over pencil
32.9 by 49.8 cm., 12 ¾ by 19 ½ in.

Ray Livingston Murphy, his sale, Christie's, 19th November 1985, lot 74;
Private Collection, New York

In March 1871, Lear moved into the Villa Emily, San Remo, Italy, where he was to remain for the rest of his life. In July 1878, he visited Monte Generoso, Switzerland where he continued to go almost every summer until 1883. In August, the date of the present work, he travelled down to Lake Como to see his friend Marianne North who has just returned from India. A watercolour made the previous day, 20
th August is illustrated in Philip Hofer, Edward Lear as Landscape Draughtsman, 1967, no. 87. Lear's illustrations to Tennyson's The Daisy include `Lago di Como, from Varenna', no. 175 ('One tall Agave above the Lake') and `Varenna, Lago di Como', no. 176 (`That Fair Port'). A view of Monte Generoso dated 10th and 14th August 1878 was sold at Christie's on 3rd July 2012, lot 160 for £11,250.