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The Fortifications at Corfu Town

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The Fortifications at Corfu Town 1848

Not on display

Although now best known for his nonsense verse, such as ‘The Owl and the Pussy-Cat’, Edward Lear was an outstanding landscape artist and travel writer. Lear travelled to Corfu for the first time in April 1848 at the invitation of his friend George Bowen. He wrote to his sister Ann on 14 May, ‘I wish I could give you any idea of the beauty of this island – it really is a Paradise’. This unusual round format watercolour shows the double crowned fortress of Corfu town in the distance, with the Albanian mountains beyond. Lear returned to paint this view again and again.

Glossary Open


A paint with colouring and binding agents diluted with water. It has a transparent quality and is usually applied to paper.



  • Acc. No. D 5551.15
  • Medium Pen and brown ink and watercolour
  • Size Diameter: 35.24 cm
  • Credit Accepted by H.M. Government in lieu of Inheritance Tax and allocated to the National Gallery of Scotland, 2003