The Tomb House and South East View of St. George’s Chapel, Windsor
Coloured aquatintpublished 12 July 1804
About the work
The Tomb House, connected to St George’s Chapel, was built as a chapel by Henry III. The upper part was rebuilt by Henry VII as a mausoleum but abandoned in favour of Westminster Abbey. Henry VIII granted the building to Cardinal Wolsey, who intended it as a place of burial for himself and hence it became known as ‘Wolsey’s Tomb House’. However, after Wolsey’s disgrace, the building reverted back to the crown. James II refurbished the building as a place of worship and George III made repairs and ordered a vault to be built beneath the structure. After this print was published, the Tomb House was refitted by Queen Victoria, to the designs of Sir George Gilbert Scott, as a memorial to Albert, Prince Consort. It is still known as the Albert Memorial Chapel.
This is one of a series of series of nine plates showing St George’s Chapel, Windsor, which were published, accompanied by a written description. Three engravers worked on the series: Frederick Christian Lewis, William Ellis and Joseph Jeakes, and all the designs were engraved after original watercolours by Frederick Nash. This work is dedicated to ‘the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Exeter’, who at the time was John Fisher (1748-1825; later Bishop of Salisbury).
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.
Frederick Nash was born in Lambeth; the son of a builder. He studied architectural drawing under Thomas Malton jnr, before entering the Royal Academy Schools. Nash was employed by architects and drew plates for John Britton’s ‘Architectural Antiquities’ (1807) and Britton and E. W. Brayley’s ‘The Beauties of England and Wales’ (1801-09). From 1807 he worked as architectural draughtsman and lithographer to the Society of Antiquaries. In 1810, he became a member of Society of Painters in Watercolours. He also painted in oils. Nash made sketching trips to Calais, Caen, the Lake District, the Moselle and the Rhine. In 1834 he moved to Brighton. He turned to landscape painting, particularly views of Sussex, before his death in Brighton, aged 73.