South East View of the Cathedral Church of Ely
Aquatintpublished 1 April 1808
About the work
In this view of the impressive Cathedral Church in Ely we see the flying buttresses of the nave, the central octagonal tower with its inner octagonal turret and the square west tower located between the transepts. Between the turreted porch at the west end and the south porch in the centre is a ruined wall. ‘South East View of the Cathedral Church of Ely’, an aquatint after a design by artist and architect John Buckler, was engraved by brothers Frederick and George Lewis and published by the artist in 1808. From 1799 to 1814 Buckler produced a series of views of English cathedrals and churches.
About the artist
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.
John Buckler was born on the Isle of Wight. In 1785 he became a steward of Magdalen College, Oxford. For seven years he was also apprenticed to architect and surveyor Charles Thomas Cracklow. In about 1801 he became Bailiff and Collector of Rents for Magdalen College in Freemason’s Court and Southwark. His post with Magdalen allowed him spare time, which he spent working on his own architectural perspective drawings. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1796 to 1849. In 1799, Buckler published an engraving of one of his drawings of Lincoln Cathedral. For the next five years he made a series of views of English cathedrals and churches. By the end of his career, he had produced some 13,000 architectural perspective drawings.