Lear's Thermopylae

Thermopylae, 1872, oil on canvas, 34 x 54 cm, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

The year 2020 marked the 2500th anniversary of the Battle of Thermopylae (480 BC).  Collected here are some of the images Lear made during and after his visit to the site of Thermopylae in June 1848.

  • Stylida, 26 [probably 27] June 1848. Pen and ink and watercolour, 14 x 23.2 cm. Lear's number 84. Private collection.

  • Mount Oeta and Thermopylae from near Lamia, 26 [probably 27] June 1848. Pen and brown ink and watercolour, heightened with white, 25.5 x 45 cm. Lear's number 85. Private collection.

  • Thermopylae, n.d. [?27 June 1848], sepia ink, ochre and blue wash on light tan paper, 15.1 x 38.6 cm. No Lear number. Houghton Library, Harvard.

  • Mount Oeta from Near Lamia, 26 June 1848; reworked 1850. Private collection.

  • The Mountains of Thermoplyae, 1852, oil on canvas, 68.4 x 135 cm. Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.

  • Thermopylae, Greece, 1848; reworked 1863. Watercolour and gouache on white paper, 17.7 x 37.2 cm. Houghton Library, Harvard.

    The monogram Lear often used on his later studio watercolours can be seen at the bottom left.

  • The Spercheius, near Thermopylae, illustration to Tennyson's poem "The Palace of Art", black and grey ink with grey wash. Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford.

  • Spercheius, 29 June 1848, pencil, pen and ink and watercolour heightened with white, 18.1 x 29.2 cm. Lear's number 100. Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design

  • On the Spercheius near Thermopylae, 30 June 1848; reworked 1850. Watercolour, sepia ink and Chinese white on brown paper pasted on board, 28.5 x 46.4 cm. Houghton Library Harvard.

  • Thermopylae, 30 June 1848, pen and ink and watercolour heightened with white on grey paper, 17.5 x 28.5 cm. Lear's number 102. Private collection.

  • Thermopylae, hot springs under Mount Kallidromos, n.d. [30 June 1848], pen and ink and watercolour heightened with white. Lear's number 103. Private collection.

  • Near Vodonitza, 30 June 1848. Lear's number 105. Private collection.

  • There was an Old Man of Thermopylae

  • X was King Xerxes

  • X was King Xerxes (autograph MS)