3 June 2009
LEWIS, John Frederick (1805-1876). Lewis's Illustrations of Constantinople. London: T. McLean, D.& P. Colnaghi and John F. Lewis .
2° (552 x 375mm). Lithographed throughout, tinted frontispiece, tinted title-vignette, 26 tinted views on 24 leaves, all by Lewis after Coke Smyth. (Spotting, sometimes heavy but mostly marginal.) Original green quarter morocco and diced cloth, spine and upper side gilt lettered, yellow glazed endpapers (corners rubbed, light soiling).
FIRST EDITION OF LEWIS'S FINE VIEWS OF CONSTANTINOPLE, IN THE PUBLISHER'S ORIGINAL BINDING. The work includes views of the city's port and custom house, various mosques including Saint Sophia, the Pasha's residence, a cafe on the Bosphorus, and others. After publication Lewis travelled extensively in the Near East, his choice of destination possibly having been influenced by Coke Smyth's drawings. Abbey, Travel II, 394; Atabey 722; Blackmer 1015; Contominas 413; RIBA 1886.
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Offered to benefit a new scholarship initiative from Bennington College, this work distils the unique form of abstraction for which the artist would become famous
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