Souliots would have been well known to British art lovers in the 1840s for their resistance against Ottoman rule and their participation in the Greek War of Independence, but Lewis has chosen to depict the warrior in a quieter and more reflective mood. As in his drawing of A Corfiote (lot 188), Lewis has employed a limited but intense palette. On seeing a selection of Lewis's drawings from the period, John Sell Cotman commented 'I saw above three hundred most splendid drawings by Lewis. Words cannot convey...their splendour. My poor Reds, Blues and Yellows...are faded fades to what I saw there' (J.S. Cotman, Letter to Dawson Turner, 6 January 1834).
For a drawing by Lewis of A Corfiote warrior see lot 186.
We are grateful to Dr Emily M. Weeks and Briony Llewellyn for their help in preparing this catalogue entry.