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MS Typ 55.11, MS Typ 55.26, TypDr 805.L513

Lear, Edward, 1812-1888. Edward Lear landscape drawings, 1834-1884: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: MS Typ 55.11, MS Typ 55.26, TypDr 805.L513
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Lear, Edward, 1812-1888.
Title: Edward Lear landscape drawings,
Date(s): 1834-1884.
Quantity: 258 linear feet
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Original drawings of landscapes by English artist Edward Lear.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

MS Typ 55.11 and MS Typ 55.26. Gift of William B. Osgood Field, 1942.
TypDr 805. L513. Bequest of Frances L. Hofer, 1978.
Specific provenance information for most items is recorded with each item below.

Processing Information:

Processed by Nancy Finlay.

Conditions Governing Access:

Access is restricted. Consult Curator of Printing and Graphic Arts.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Edward Lear Landscape Drawings, 1834-1884 (MS Typ 55.11, MS Typ 55.26, TypDr 805.L513). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Related Materials

Additional landscape drawings located in various scrapbooks, also in the Printing and Graphic Arts Department, have not been included in this catalogue (see "Landscape drawings located in other P&GA collections below). The Departments of Manuscripts and of Printing and Graphic Arts hold extensive collections of diaries, letters, and other drawings by Lear; MS Typ 55-55.25 and MS Eng 797-797.6
Landscape drawings located in other P&GA collections:

Biographical / Historical

Edward Lear (1812-1888) is remembered primarily for his nonsense rhymes and limericks, but in his own lifetime he sought recognition as a landscape painter.


Arranged in chronological order of the artist's travels: When requesting drawings, please cite the information given under Call number/location.

Scope and Contents

The Printing and Graphic Arts Department of the Houghton Library possesses a collection of more than 3,500 drawings, by far the largest in the world, that demonstrate just how successful Lear was in this field. The sheer number of drawings in the Houghton collection makes it possible to trace the evolution of his style from the mid-1830s through the 1880s and provides a detailed record of his extensive voyages. The majority of drawings were made during one of his last trips in 1873-1874 and represent scenes from India and Ceylon.
A significant portion of the drawings are relatively small, with several mounted on a single cardboard sheet. Many drawings include Lear's manuscript notes. These record the place and date, and sometimes hour, of execution, as well as information about colors and textures to be added later. Lear's technique is discussed in HOFER.

Abbreviations Used For Bibliographic References:

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