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An Oriental Interior (A Startling Account, Constantinople)
Photo credit: Victoria and Albert Museum, London

An Oriental Interior (A Startling Account, Constantinople) 1863

John Frederick Lewis (1804–1876)

Paintings Collection
(b London, 14 July 1804; d Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, 15 Aug. 1876). English painter, mainly in watercolour, son of the engraver and landscape painter Frederick Christian Lewis (1779–1856). He travelled extensively and spent the years 1841–51 in Cairo. His colourful and highly detailed scenes of life in the harem and bazaar were a huge success in London, and after his return there in 1851 he concentrated on them exclusively, playing a major part in creating the vogue for ‘Oriental’ subjects. Several other members of the family were painters, including his brother, Frederick Christian Lewis, Jun. (1813–75). He worked in India for many years and is sometimes known as ‘Indian Lewis’ to distinguish him from his brother.

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)


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