The Berger Collection

Edward Lear (1812-1888)
Civita Castellana, 1844
Oil on canvas
Signed and dated, E. Lear. Roma. 1844.
14 x 21 3/4 in. (36 x 55.2 cm)

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Edward Lear first traveled to Italy in 1837. Settling in Rome, he remained there for the next ten years, using it as a base for travels around the Mediterranean. He painted Civita Castellana during this period. It depicts a view of the ancient Roman town of that name, about forty miles north of Rome, with its namesake castle rising in the middle distance and Mount Soratte dominating the horizon. In the foreground is the Ponte Clementino, the eighteenth-century bridge across the Rio Maggiore. Civita Castellana is typical of the landscapes that wealthy tourists acquired as mementos of their travels. It captures the hazy heat of Italy and evokes the open spaces of the Roman campagna.


Sir Philip Shelbourne, executor’s sale; Christie’s, London, November 4, 1994, lot 93; Sotheby’s, London, July 9, 1997, lot 94.


Exhibited: Fine Art Society, London, Edward Lear Centenary Exhibition, June 1988, no. 11169.

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