Most famous for humorous poems such as "The Owl and the Pussycat," Lear was also a painter and illustrator who wittily described himself as "Greek Topographical Painter par excellence." As a young artist, he traveled to Rome and remained abroad for the majority of his life. He undertook walking tours in Italy, Greece, Switzerland, and France, and sketched assiduously. Upon finding what he deemed a good subject, Lear observed the scenery through a monocle and then rapidly sketched the details of the view in graphite, usually recording the precise location and date. Later, he worked up the drawing in ink and laid in color washes. This drawing records a view of Lake Maggiore in Italy.
Fonte: Isola Bella, Lago Maggiore, 1839. Edward Lear (British, 1812-1888). Graphite heightened with white ; The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Victor Thaw 1973.83