Edward Lear’s sketches selected by Albanian authorities for promoting tourism in the country

Published on : Friday, June 9, 2017

AlbanianEdward Lear, the English artist popular for The Owl and the Pussycat and other nonsense verse, has been selected by Albanian authorities for promoting tourism along the ancient Via Egnatia linking east to west.

An exhibition of sketches made by Lear during an 1848 visit to Albania has been initiated by the National Coastline Agency.

Agency head Auron Tare said that they were aiming to revive the Via Egnatia, constructed by the Romans in the 2nd century BC.

“Lear was the last of the big names to travel along the Via Egnatia to see the influence of Albania dating back to ancient times,” said Mr. Tare.

Lear’s sketches are preserved at Harvard University’s Houghton Library of rare works, which depict scenes he witnessed in towns like Manastir and Ohrid in Macedonia, Elbasan and Tirana, 72 years before it became Albania’s capital. They also depict central and eastern Albania’s rugged mountains and form an important record of folk costumes worn at the time in Albania.

Lear’s works have been described as “documentary and artistic value, giving views of the period that have since been transformed or no longer exist. From an artistic point of view, they present clear lines and accurate depictions of the 19th-century way of life.”

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