LEWIS, John Frederick

1804 - 1876

John Frederick Lewis

Born in London on 14 July 1804, son of Frederick Christian Lewis (17791856), engraver and landscape-painter, and his wife Elizabeth née Gregory, who married at St Mary's Whitechapel, London on 30 August 1803. He learnt to draw and etch almost as soon as he could read and was a childhood friend of Edwin Landseer (1802-1873) and shared his practice of sketching the animals in the menagerie at Exeter Change in The Strand, London. Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830) employed him for a year as an assistant to work on the backgrounds of his portraits. He specialized in Oriental and Mediterranean scenes and often worked in exquisitely detailed watercolour and in 1822 he began to exhibit at the Royal Academy. In 1827 elected an Associate of the Society of Painters in Water Colours and made his first foreign journey to Germany. Lewis lived in Spain 1832-1834 which led to a change of subject matter but also to a change in style. He exhibited at the Norwich Society of Artists in 1833 'Scene in Venice' which was in the collection of John Sell Cotman (1872-1942). Lewis was in Cairo 1841-1850, where he made numerous sketches that he turned into paintings after his return to Walton-on-Thames, England in 1851 where he lived until his death. Elected an associate of the Royal Academy on 31 January 1859 and a full member on 10 March 1865 and retired on 9 May 1876. A member of the Ipswich Art Club 1875 exhibiting 'Interior of a Studio' in that year. He died at Walton-on-Thames on 15 August 1876.

Works by This Artist