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)

EDL043 - Edward Lear: Mansion in Gjirokastra (Arghyró Kastro) in southern Albania, with the fortress and the aqueduct in the background, 4 November 1848. “But of all surprising novelties, here or anywhere else, commend me to the costume of the Arghyró Kastro women! The quaintest monsters ever portrayed or imagined fall short of the reality of these most strange creatures in gait and apparel; and it is to be wondered at when and by whom the first garb of the kind was invented, or how human beings could submit to wear it. Suppose first a tight white linen mask fixed on the face, with two small slits cut in it for the eyes to look through. Next, a voluminous wrapper of white, with broad buff stripes, which conceals the whole upper part of the person, and is huddled in immense folds about the arms, which are carried with the elbows raised, the hands being carefully kept from sight by the heavy drapery. Add to these, short, full, purple calico trousers, and canary-coloured top-boots, with rose-coloured tassels; and what more amazing incident in the history of female dress can be fancied?” Edward Lear in Albania (London 2008), p. 155.