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Between and Mortarboard


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The Dead Sea, from Masada

Accession Number
1968/2.34

Title
The Dead Sea, from Masada

Artist(s)
Edward Lear

Object Creation Date
1879

Medium & Support
oil on canvas

Dimensions
13 9/16 in. x 21 7/16 in. ( 34.4 cm x 54.5 cm )

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Label copy
Perhaps best known for his limericks and nonsense poems, Edward Lear was also a popular travel writer, prominent scientific illustrator, and an accomplished landscape painter. He traveled extensively in Greece and the Near East, and in 1858 he visited and first painted the mount of Masada in Israel, located at the edge of the Judean Desert on the western shore of the Dead Sea. The Museum’s painting is a second version executed in 1879 for the eighteenth Earl of Derby, for whom Lear made many paintings and illustrations throughout the artist’s lifetime. The high vantage point and the use of aerial or atmospheric perspective, most noticeable in the tonal changes between the cliffs in the foreground and the mountains in the background, suggest a sweeping panoramic view in spite of the small size of the canvas. Such topographical views of North Africa and the Middle East, parallel to views popularized by the newly emerging medium of photography, became the fashion as more and more Europeans traveled further afield, armed with popular travel guides such as Cook’s "Handbook for Egypt and and the Egyptian Sudan."
(Yao-fen You, 18th-19th Century Gallery installation, early 1999)

Primary Object Classification
Painting

Collection Area
Western

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
hills
seascapes

2 Related Resources

British Empire
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved

On display