Mentone, Pont St.Louis

WAG 8149


Lear was travelling along the border of Italy and France when he made this work. He had recently left Corfu and was feeling low, depressed and exhausted. He liked Mentone, particularly it's 'wonderfully beautiful groves of lemon', but described it as 'too shut in and befizzled a place for me' and stated it was 'intolerable and unwholesome from it's overcrowded Anglicism.' Lear used this drawing as the basis for an illustration of the poem 'The Daisy' by Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809 - 1892). It was one in a series of 199 drawings made by Lear to illustrate the poet's work in 1885. 'Mentone, Pont St. Louis' was used for number 156 in the series. The drawings were never published and they are now in the collection of the Houghton Library at Harvard University in the United States (MS Typ 55.7).