A rare Malta Edward Lear Maltese Mellieha Selmun PaintingMalta - Collection Only
Price is comparable to / referenced to the similar GBP £ Lear sale prices shown in UK publication ‘Country Life’ March 2021 page 126 / offered by Peppiatt fineart UK . This publication is included in the documents included with the sale.
Addendum 1 ; a further [ 3rd similar ] Selmun Watercolour by Lear has been located, beyond the 2nd Fitzwilliam studio version. [The 3rd similar is the last photo shown]
Addendum 2 ;This website contains a further other 2 original Lear watercolours FOR SALE with a Maltese connection.
Addendum 3; 26 Jan 2022 ; USD 40,320 Sothebys New York for a Lear ; titled ; View of the Acropolis and the temple of Hephaistos, Athens
Malta ‘collection only’ Edward Lear Maltese original watercolour painting Mellieha Selmun Palace
http:/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXGJk1Mv27IIn Malta. An incredibly rare , iconic , desirable and valuable watercolour by Edward Lear [ writer of the Owl and the Pussycat ]. With provenance and full local and London authentication this painting is a centrepiece image in the book titled ‘ Edward Lear in Malta’. Selmun Palace is a totemic Maltese structure , the painting shows with skill the distinctive ‘biblical’ landscape as Lear put it. Selmun tower is depicted with a high to left focal point , and an unusual perspective vanishing point [far left off-page ] with a higher elevation than the place of painting. It is high as for example you cant see the surfaces on the forecourt of the palace.This makes the building look elevated ,with brooding power. Qawra tower / Point in mid backdrop. I would describe the manner of Lear’s painting technique as almost based /primed on what isnt , but appears to be almost scratched fine painted line-work . Along with the painting detailed comments by Lear, many associated details pertinent to Malta are included . This painting is amongst Lear’s prolific output , and a matching painting ‘ companion piece’ is currently owned by the Fitzwilliam Museum , UK. https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/176690 More accurately described than ‘ companion piece’ our painting was made before the rendition of the un-annotated Fitzwilliam version which has a wide variety of colour and detail ,and a slightly flattened gradient to the sea from the tower. Our picture [ the original ] was an annotated preparatory painting made plein air. The Fitzwilliam painting was probably made in studio after this picture . Before this preparatory plein air picture was painted ,Lear would have made a tiny miniature sketch. Lear called these tiny primary sketches ‘ totality’ sketches. Lear paintings are in most US fine art institutions. Lear paintings of Malta-Gozo are scarce , reputedly with only 38 having been put on the market since 1976. No collection of representative Maltese 19th century paintings can be complete without a similar picture . The Muza Valletta Fine Art Museum , indeed contains works by Lear.
Minor wear and defects.Very minor fading. Modern frame with wear and modern mounting. One visible spot of deteriroation and staining in central clouds. It is not considered the cloud has been introduced to cover spot but it is possible ,though considered unlikeley.