LEWIS, John Frederick

1804 - 1876

John Frederick Lewis

John Frederick Lewis was born in London on 14 July 1804, son of Frederick Christian Lewis (14 March 177918 December 1856), 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 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. Lewis specialised 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. Whilst in Egypt, John Frederick Lewis of Cairo, married in the presence of Captain, the Hon. C. A. Murray, British Consul, at Alexandria on 8 May 1847, Marian Harper (8 July 1823-30 May 1907), third daughter of Edward Harper of Mortlake, Surrey. 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 in that year 'Interior of a Studio'. John Frederick Lewis 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.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from 46 Crawford Street, London
1822 59 An old Newfoundland Dog, the property of C B Calmady
         340 Pointers
         476 Portrait of a favourite Hunter, the property of a gentleman


from Walton-on-Thames
1876 187 Midday Meal: Cairo
         222 A Cairo Bazaar: the dellal
         1262 On the Banks of the Nile, Upper Egypt




Works by This Artist