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The Trieste Study and Bedroom of Sir Richard Francis Burton, 1889

Posted: September 11th, 2022 | No Comments »

British explorer, writer, scholar, diplomat, and soldier Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821-1890) died in Trieste where he was British Consul. Burton is primarily associated with the Near- and Mid-East as well as Africa rather than the Far East. His travels and writings are too numerous to mention here, but if you’re not familiar with him and his work then he has an extensive Wikipedia page.

Anyway, I came across these paintings of his Trieste house painted in 1889 by Albert Letchford (1866-1905), an English artist resident in Italy and also provided some (actually 72) illustration to books in Burton’s 17-volume translation of The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night. The paintings reflect various aspects of Burton’s life – his ambivlance yet fascination with religion, his books and files, artworks and momentos as well as (in the first painting) a Chinese/Japanese parasol and in his bedroom (bottom painting) a Chinese/Japanese paper lantern hanging from the ceiling.

These paintings now reside in the Burton Collection in Orleans House, Twickenham, West London.

Letchford’s A Corner of Sir Richard Burton’s Study, Trieste, 1889
Letchford’s simiarly titled A Corner of Sir Richard Burton’s Study, Trieste, 1889
Letchford’s Sir Richard Burton’s Bedroom, Trieste, 1889

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