About this artwork

John Frederick Lewis lived in Cairo throughout the 1840s. Lewis was regarded as the preeminent British Orientalist painter after David Roberts, the first professional British artist to travel independently to the Middle East in the 1830s. Lewis based his work on firsthand observations like this. His work shows his strong fascination with contemporary Egyptian culture, rather than with the ancient remains. In Cairo, Lewis turned the narrow streets and confined spaces, about which so many other British Orientalist artists and tourists complained, into opportunities for skilful studies like this one. This study shows the entrance to the mosque, in Cairo, built by Sultan Hasan between 1356 and 1359. In it the eye ricochets through a sequence of receding planes.

  • title:
    Exterior of a Mosque (Gamia Sultan Hasan)
  • accession number:
    D 3605
  • artist:
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • subject:
  • materials:
    Pencil over watercolour and bodyolour on brown paper
  • date created:
    1840 - 1850
  • measurements:
    81.30 x 55.90 cm
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1911

John Frederick Lewis

John Frederick Lewis