John Frederick Lewis (British, London 1805–1876 Walton-on-Thames)
Watercolors and gouache over black chalk on brownish paper
sheet: 14 5/8 x 20 5/8 in. (37.1 x 52.4 cm)
Anonymous Gift, 1961
Not on view
Among the most accomplished of the Victorian "Orientalists," Lewis lived in Egypt during the 1840s, where he adopted aspects of a pasha's dress and manner. A masterful watercolorist, he here applied wash and gouache to sketch camels and their trappings in the Sinai. Later, back in England, he would create detailed, colorful evocations of middle eastern life for London exhibitions, and based several finished watercolors of desert subjects on this sheet.
Signature: in graphite lower left: "J. F. Lewis"
Inscription: Inscribed and signed on recto in graphite, lower left of sheet: [deser] "t of Mt. Sinai/ J.F. Lewis"
The artist's sale, Christie's, London, May 4, 1877 ?lot 130: Studies of Camels, Desert of Mt. Sinai(to Critchell); Critchell (British), bought at preceding; Christie's, London, Dec. 12, 1938, "A Study of Two Camels" (part of lot 54); Walker, bought at the preceding
Royal Academy of Arts Exhibition of the Royal Academy. London, 1868, "Cames. Sketched in the desert of Sinai", cat. no. 763.
Frederick J. Cummings, Robert Rosenblum, Allen Staley Romantic Art in Britain, Paintings and Drawings 1760-1860. Ex. cat: January 9 to February 18, 1968 (Detroit), March 14 to April 21, 1968 (Philadelphia). Detroit Institute of Arts, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, 1968, cat. no. 178, p. 258, ill.
Major-General Michael Lewis John Frederick Lewis, R.A., 1805–1876. 1978, cat. no. 405, p. 83.