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Portrait of John Frederick Lewis by William Boxall, 1832

John Frederick Lewis (July 14, 1805 – August 15, 1876) was an Orientalist English painter. He specialized in Oriental and Mediterranean scenes and often worked in exquisitely detailed watercolour. He was the son of Frederick Christian Lewis (1779-1856), engraver and landscape-painter.

Lewis lived in Spain between 1832 and 1834. He lived in Cairo between 1841 and 1850, where he made numerous sketches that he turned into paintings even after his return to England in 1851. He lived in Walton-on-Thames until his death.

The Courtyard of the Coptic Patriarch's House in Cairo, 1871.
"Captive Dove" Cairo 1864

Lewis became an Associate of the Royal Academy (ARA) in 1859 and a member (an RA) in 1865.

After being largely forgotten for decades, he became extremely fashionable, and expensive, from the 1970s and good works now fetch prices into the millions of dollars or pounds at auction.


  • Head of a Spanish Girl Wearing a Mantilla, ca. 1838, Red and black chalks and Indian ink with watercolors and bodycolours on buff board
  • Two Southern Italian Peasants Playing the Bagpipes, 1839-40, Watercolor and bodycolours and black chalk over pencil, on buff paper


  • See Sources.

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

JOHN FREDERICK LEWIS (1805-1876), British painter, son of F. C. Lewis, engraver, was born in London. He was elected in 1827 associate of the Society of Painters in Water Colours, of which he became full member in 1829 and president in 1855; he resigned in 1858, and was made associate of the Royal Academy in 1859 and academician in 1865. Much of his earlier life was spent in Spain, Italy and the East, but he returned to England in 1851 and for the remainder of his career devoted himself almost exclusively to Eastern subjects, which he treated with extraordinary care and minuteness of finish, and with much beauty of technical method. He is represented by a picture, "Edfou: Upper Egypt," in the National Gallery of British Art. He achieved equal eminence in both oil and water-colour painting.

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