Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Portrait of a seated cardinal

Lewis, John Frederick (July 14, 1805 – August 15, 1876)
Portrait of a seated cardinal
Graphite, chalk (black and white), pastel (red), brush and ink (red and black) on paper (buff card)
Height: 37.2 cm; Width: 26.3 cm
Courtauld Institute of Art Gallery, London

John Frederick Lewis (July 14, 1805 – August 15, 1876) was an English painter. Lewis began his career as a painter of animal subjects. His career began in the studio of Painter in Ordinary to King George IV, Sir Thomas Lawrence.

For many years he worked exclusively in watercolour. His unique technique combined graphite, bodycolor, and watercolour as a single medium with the graphite used as primer, the watercolour for tone, and the bodycolour/watercolour for fine detail such as faces and instruments.

He travelled extensively in Spain and Northern Europe. Lewis lived in Spain between 1832 and 1834. The ten years spent living in Cairo from 1841 had a huge influence on his work. He made numerous sketches that he turned into paintings even after his return to England in 1851. He specialized in Oriental and Mediterranean scenes and often worked in oil and also in watercolour.

Lewis' art can be placed into three distinct categories: the animal paintings of his youth; the scenes of Spanish life from his adulthood; and from his middle and old age, the scenes of "Oriental" life inspired by travels to Constantinople and a decade living in Cairo

He lived in The Holme at Walton-on-Thames, Surrey until his death.
But who is the cardinal ?