Edward Lear

1812-1888

Edward Lear is best known to most of us for his nonsense verse and limericks. He devoted his life, however, to drawing and painting birds and animals, as well as landscapes.

Lear represented a halfway point between the stiff, detailed style of drawing associated with metal engraving and the freer style characteristic of lithography. Although his figures were rather rigid, Lear introduced some element of motion into them and occasionally added habitat backgrounds. He tried to express a feeling of individuality, or personality, in his birds rather than producing strictly zoological depictions.