image © Guy Peppiatt Fine Art | Licence: All Rights Reserved
image © Guy Peppiatt Fine Art | Licence: All Rights Reserved

The Entrance to Melfi Castle, Basilicata, Italy


September 21, 1847


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From the Collection


Lear visited Melfi from 17th to 22nd September 1847 while he was living in Rome. Having visited Sicily in May and June, he toured Southern Italy from July until October. He described the castle as `sufficiently imposing at this silent hour of night. There is a drawbridge, and sullen gates, and dismal court-yards, and massive towers, and seneschals with keys and fierce dogs – all the requisites of the feudal fortress of romance’ (see Edward Lear in Southern Italy, 1964, pp. 182-184). Melfi is in the central southern area of Basilicata to the east of Naples.

Two drawings of Melfi by Lear, also dated 21st September 1847, have been with Guy Peppiatt Fine Art, one in 2013 (see One Hundred Drawings and Watercolours, 2013-14, no.51) and the other in 2019 (see British Drawings and Watercolours, 2019, no.62).


Signed and dated lower right: Edward Lear. del./21. Sept/1847 and inscribed lower left: Castello di Melfi/in Basilicata.

Descriptive medium

Pen and grey ink and watercolour over pencil heightened with bodycolour

Image Licence

Image Credit

image © Guy Peppiatt Fine Art

From the Watercolour World


Entrance, Castle of Melfi, Basilicata, Potenza, Italy