LEWIS, John Frederick

1804 - 1876

John Frederick Lewis

John Frederick Lewis, was 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. John 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 after his return to Walton-on-Thames, England in 1851, he turned into paintings and 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 in 1875 exhibiting 'Interior of a Studio' in that year. He continued to live at Walton-on-Thames until his death on 15 August 1876, leaving an estate of some 20,000 to his widow Marian.














Works by This Artist