Image credit: Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

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Lear arrived at the pass of Thermopylae during his visit to Greece in the summer of 1848. As was his habit, he made a number of pencil sketches which he later redrew in ink. He used these as the basis for a painting of 'The Mountains of Thermopylae' dated 1852 (Bristol City Art Gallery), one of a group of four landscapes painted according to the Pre-Raphaelite precepts of Holman Hunt. They were painted in translucent colours on a white ground. The view is taken looking southwards across the plain of the Spercheios; the deep gorge in the centre is the pass of Thermopylae itself. This smaller version was completed twenty years later according to the same principles.

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford







oil on canvas


H 33.6 x W 53.8 cm (E)

Accession number


Acquisition method

Presented by Pamela Schiele in memory of Isabel Olivier, 1997

Work type



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Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

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