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Empire

| View of St Julian’s Bay |

Edward Lear (1812-1888)

View of St Julian’s Bay

Artist
Edward Lear (1812-1888)
Date
1865
Size
21 x 34.5 cm; 38 x 51.2 cm w/frame
Technique
Watercolour on paper
Location
Empire Gallery – Island with a View
Edward Lear, the famous British artist, poet, musician, illustrator and author who also excelled in limericks, travelled to Malta in 1848 and stayed for four months between 1865 and 1866. In restless search of landscapes to capture, Lear produced an impressive number of over 300 en plein air and studio watercolours during his stay on the island where he often complained about feelings of loneliness. This rapidly sketched and almost monochrome-washed view of St Julian’s Bay was definitely carried out on site as revealed by its minimal qualities, just enough for Lear to elaborate upon when in his studio. While acting as a precious momentary return to a part of Malta that in the mid-19th century was inconceivably quiet and rural, this view is also priceless for the artist’s own handwritten notes indicating the ‘5:16pm’ time and the ‘29th Dec. 1865’ date when this view, for a brief while, caught Lear’s attention and brush.

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