LEWIS, John Frederick
John Frederick Lewis (1804-1876) was a British orientalist painter. His father was an engraver and landscape painter as well. Lewis lived in Spain (1832-34) and in Cairo (1839-1850). He became enchanted by life in Egypt and his greatest pleasure was to spend large stretches of time in settlements in the interior of the desert and enjoy the starry sky. The material he collected in Egypt became his inspiration for the following twenty-five years.
From 1851 onwards Lewis lived in England, was a member of the Royal Academy and became known mainly for watercolour paintings. An eccentric and impulsive character, he moved in extravagant clothes about London, and in a Arab nobleman's cloak in Cairo. His works began to be greatly appreciated after 1970, and reached important sums in auctions.
For this edition, which was published around 1838, Lewis used the drawings by painter J. R. Coke Smyth (about whom it is unknown exactly when he travelled in the Ottoman Empire), put them in order and engraved them in stone, to subsequently publish them. It was after the publication of this work that Lewis travelled to the East himself.
Written by Ioli Vingopoulou