Albania in the Painting of Edward Lear (1848)

Albanien in der Kunst des Malers Edward Lear (1848)

Pikturat shqiptare të Eduard Lirit (Edward Lear, 1848)

EDL036 - Edward Lear: Pelicans near Zvërnec (Svernez) in southern Albania, 29 October 1848. “As we skirted these salt lagunes, I observed an infinite number of what appeared to be large white stones, arranged in rows with great regularity, though yet with something odd in their form not easily to be described. The more I looked at them, the more I felt they were not what they seemed to be, so I appealed to Blackey, who instantly plunged into a variety of explanations, verbal and active; the chief of which consisted in flapping his arms and hands, puffing and blowing with most uncouth noises, and putting his head under one arm, with his eyes shut. As for his language, it was so mixed a jargon of Turkish, Italian, Greek and Nubian, that little more could be extracted from it, than that the objects in question ate fish and flew away afterwards. So I resolved to examine these mysterious white stones forthwith, and off we went, when - lo! on my near approach, one and all put forth legs, long necks, and great wings, and “stood confessed” so many great pelicans, which, with croakings expressive of great disgust at all such ill-timed interruptions, rose up into the air in a body of five or six hundred, and soared slowly away to the cliffs north of the gulf.” Edward Lear in Albania (London 2008), p. 145.