John Frederick Lewis

British orientalist painter (1805 - 1876), known for his intricate watercolours and gouaches

John Frederick Lewis was the son of engraver and landscape painter Frederick Christian Lewis (1779–1856). He entered the studio of Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830) as draughtsman of animals in 1820. He produced six intaglio prints which were published in 1825 and twelve etchings published in 1826.

Lewis had begun to make landscape and topographical watercolours by 1827. His intricate style was influenced by artists Richard Parkes Bonington (1802-1828) and David Wilkie (1785-1841) and he travelled to Europe on a sketching tour in search of inspiring subjects. In 1829 Lewis visited Devon and Scotland, and in the same year was elected member of the Old Watercolour Society.

Lewis visited Spain and Morocco between 1832 and 1834. The drawings produced on these trips were reproduced as lithographs for 'Sketches and Drawings of the Alhambra' (1835), and 'Sketches of Spain and Spanish Character' (1836).

From 1837 he travelled for a prolonged time to Europe and the Middle East until he settled in Egypt in 1841 where he resided for 10 years. He married Marian Harper in Alexandria in 1844 and during this time he specialised in Oriental and Mediterranean scenes. His extremely detailed watercolours were very well received at the Old Water-Colour Society.

Lewis returned to England with his wife in 1851and was President of the Old Watercolour Society in 1856.
  • Gender
  • Relationship
  • Nationality
    British: English
  • Born
  • Place of birth
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: London
  • Died
  • Place of death
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: Surrey: Walton-on-Thames
  • Cause of death
    Unknown or unrecorded
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