The Mainland: The Peloponnese and Central and Northern Greece

Ioannina, oil on canvas, detail.
Ioannina oil

Ioannina, oil on canvas.  Private Collection.

September 1848: Macedonia

This was part of a longer journey (numbered series 1–218) which continued to present-day North Macedonia and Albania. Numbers 4–23  are within the present-day borders of Greece and include  Salonica, Yenidje [Giannitsa], Vodhena [Edessa] and Ostrovo [Arnissa].

From the sketches made on this journey and his 1849 journey to Epirus and Thessaly, Lear published Journals of a Landscape Painter in Greece and Albania, & c. (London: Richard Bentley, 1851).

Some excerpts from his journals and letters were published in Edward Lear in the Levant: Travels in Albania, Greece and Turkey in Europe, 1848–1849. Edited by Susan Hyman. (London: John Murray, 1988).

Edessa Tennyson illustration

"A land of streams", Vodghenà [Edessa], pen and ink illustration for Tennyson's poem "The Lotos-Eaters".  Houghton Library.

April–May 1849: Epirus and Thessaly

Numbered series 1–83.

Patras–Corfu–Preveza (Nicopolis)ArtaSuliParga IoanninaMetsovoMeteoraLarissaTempeIoanninaPatras.

Storks, Larissa, May 1849. Houghton Library.

Storks, Larissa, 1849. Houghton Library.

Views of Syra/Syros in Passing

Although Lear never landed in the Cyclades his travels took him via Syros, which before the building of the Corinth Canal was an important centre and junction for Aegean shipping.  On the way back from Crete to Athens, for instance, he wroteThe multitude of ‘Isles of Greece’ is quite uncommon and lovely . . . About eight we reached Syra. A wonderful voyage!”