Edward Lear

William Holman Hunt 1827-1910

Black crayon and coloured chalk, dated 1857

Accession number WAG 1251

Drawing of Edward Lear by Holman Hunt

Presented to the Walker Art Gallery by the artist,1907

Edward Lear is now most famous for his nonsense poems. During his lifetime he was just as well known as an artist, producing illustrations of birds and animals for natural history books, and travelling the world to make watercolours and drawings of distant places.

Lear had never formally studied art, and in the early 1850s asked Hunt to give him lessons in oil painting, which he did. This is one of a group of portrait drawings Hunt made of his artist friends.

Hunt gave this drawing and the one of Robert Braithwaite Martineau to the Walker in gratitude for the encouragement and prizes he had received from the Liverpool Academy in the 1850s.