The 12½ x 9in (32 x 23cm) work depicts the church of Santa Maria della Salute at sunset. It is inscribed with the date November, 16 1865 – the period when Lear made his second trip to Venice.
He first visited in 1857, but returned eight years later on his way to Malta to make studies for an oil painting which had been commissioned by his close friend and patron, Lady Waldegrave.
The watercolour had belonged to the vendor’s late mother, and was cautiously attributed to Lear in the catalogue.
Estimated at £1000-1500 and offered without reserve on July 28, it proceeded to sell to a private London buyer for £8100 against interest from the phones and internet.
The price is in line with a number of other Venice views of similar size which Lear executed on the same trip.