Edward Lear, undated watercolour of Monte Rosa, Pennine Alps (775 x 574mm)

This watercolour is of Monte Rosa as seen from Monte Generoso, and illustrates ‘Sunsmitten Alps before me lay’ from Tennyson's ‘The Daisy’. Like many of Lear's paintings, it was gifted to the family.

 

Lear’s grand desire was ‘to show that Alfred Tennyson’s poetry (with regard to scenes –) is as real & exquisite as it is relatively to higher & deeper matters: – that his descriptions of certain spots are as positively true as if drawn from the places themselves, & that his words have the power of calling up images as distinct & correct as if they were written from these images, instead of giving rise to them.’ (letter to Emily Tennyson, 5 Oct 1852, object 5399).