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BERESFORD, George de la Poer, Captain. Twelve Sketches in double tinted Lithography of Scenes in Southern Albania, London, Day and Son, [1855].

The Irish army official George de la Poer Beresford (1826-1865) was descended from an eminent Irish statesman. Very little is known of his studies, career and personal life. In 1855, at the age of thirty and a year after his wife's death, he published a series of lithographs with views of southern Albania and Epirus. Beresford probably visited the region, which was formerly part of Ali Pasha's territory, as member of a military mission. He dedicated his work to Lady Emily Cozziris, wife of the keeper of Corfu prison. The album was not reissued, but Beresford later published two novels on social issues.

The drawings of the album were done by Beresford himself. They were lithographed by Day & Son, a firm well-known for the quality of their engravings, who thus gave the public another polished work. The plates, some of which show rare subjects, are accompanied by explanatory texts on the incidents which took place in the region. In accordance with contemporary aesthetic conventions, the lithographs render a peaceful mountain landscape, while the picturesque details of everyday life which complete the plates convey a discreet yet vivid sense of human presence.

Written by Ioli Vingopoulou

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