About this artwork

Great Lavra is the largest and oldest monastery on Mount Athos, founded in 963. This atmospheric sketch shows the monastery harbour, dominated by a watch tower. The island of Thasos is visible on the horizon. Although Lear found the scenery of Mount Athos ‘stupendous’, he took a violent dislike to the monastic way of life. In an extravagant outburst he complained about ‘these miserable, mutton-hating, man-avoiding, misogynic, morose and merriment-marring, monotoning, many-mule-making, mocking, mournful, minced-fish & marmalade-masticating Monx’.

  • title:
    Lavra, with Thaos in the distance
  • accession number:
    D 5551.13
  • artist:
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • materials:
    Pen and brown ink with watercolour over pencil
  • date created:
    Unknown
  • measurements:
    14.60 x 22.22 cm
  • credit line:
    Accepted by H.M. Government in lieu of Inheritance Tax and allocated to the National Gallery of Scotland, 2003

Edward Lear

Edward Lear