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Edward Lear in Malta


The exhibition ‘Edward Lear: Watercolours and Words’ opened at Palazzo Falson Historic House Museum in Mdina, Malta on 18th October 2014.

Edward Lear’s travels were motivated by his desire to escape the damp winters of his native London and by his incessant search for new landscapes to paint. On his way to the milder climes of Greece and the Middle East, he frequently made stopovers in Malta. In 1865-66, however, he made the island his final destination. During that four-month visit, he painted nearly 300 on-site and a few dozen studio watercolours. This show brings together a number of these watercolours in an innovative display which matches up the works with Lear’s corresponding diary notes, giving us an unprecedented insight into the artist’s state of mind and working method at the time.

The exhibition, which is being organized by Palazzo Falson on behalf of Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti, is guest-curated by John Varriano, Professor Emeritus of Art History at Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts, who is also the author of a book published by Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti on Lear in Malta. Click here to purchase the book

A programme of related events including lectures, gallery talks, artist workshops and children’s workshops will run throughout the duration of the exhibition.

‘Edward Lear: Watercolours and Words’ runs at Palazzo Falson Historic House Museum, Mdina from the 18th October 2014 to the 4th January 2015. Opening hours are from Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 4pm (closed Mondays).

Photo credit:  Massa Forno, Gozo Malta, 1866, Watercolor and pen and brown ink on medium, slightly textured, cream wove paper, mounted on medium, slightly textured, brown wove paper, Yale Center for British Art, Gift of George E. Dix, B.A. 1934, M.A. 1942 recto