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- About the work
About the artist
Watercolourist Thomas Girtin was born in Southwark; the son of a brushmaker. He was apprenticed to Edward Dayes from 1789, although their quarrels may have led to Girtin being imprisoned. He toured the Midlands with James Moore in 1794 and, with Turner, copied Dr Monro’s drawings by J. R. Cozens. Girtin visited the north of England (1796), West Country (1797) and north Wales (1798). His most significant patron was Edward Lascelles, son of the Earl of Harewood. After failing to be elected associate of the Royal Academy, he travelled to Paris in 1801, staying for almost six months. His sketches of Paris were published posthumously as ‘Twenty Views in Paris…’ (1803). He exhibited a panorama of London at Spring Gardens in 1802. He died aged 27.
Frederick Christian Lewis senior was born in London; the son of a miniature painter. He was taught by his father and apprenticed to J. C. Stadler. In 1797 he entered the Royal Academy Schools. He married Elizabeth Exton and their children included painters John Frederick and Frederick Christian junior. He engraved Girtin’s illustrations to ‘Twenty of the Most Picturesque Views in Paris and its Environs’ (1803) and exhibited at the Royal Academy, British Institution, Society of British Artists and Old Watercolour Society. He also engraved Old Master drawings for Otley’s ‘The Italian School of Design’ (1808-23) and work by contemporary artists. Lewis served as engraver to several royals including Queen Victoria. He died in Middlesex, aged 77.