16 November 2006
John Frederick Lewis, R.A., P.O.W.S. (1805-1876)
Study of a young Neapolitan woman, in Rome
indistinctly signed and inscribed 'Rome/JF Lewis' (lower right)
pencil, black chalk and watercolour heightened with bodycolour
14 x 9 7/8 in. (35.5 x 25 cm.)
Sir William Drake.
Charles Frederick Huth; Christie's, London, July 1895, lot 200 (6 gns to De Pass).
with Deighton's Strand Gallery, London.
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Possibly Major General J.M. Lewis, John Frederick Lewis, R.A., 1805-1879, Leigh-on-Sea, 1978, p. 78, no. 329.
The present watercolour relates to the right hand side of Lewis's watercolour An Easter Day in Rome, 1840, Sunderland Museum and Art Gallery. The building behind and several of the background figures are also included in the watercolour, including the pilgrim with the scallop shell badge on his cloak and the kneeling woman in the lower right corner of the composition. However the sleeping girl to the left of the standing figure has been transposed from the left hand side of the watercolour. The subject of the present watercolour is the same woman, presented in a different pose, to one of the two standing in front of the monument at the centre of the larger composition. A smaller version of the watercolour also dated 1840 is in the collection of Northampton Art Gallery. This was exhibited at the Old Water Colour Society in 1841 with the title Easter Day at Rome - Pilgrims and Peasants of the Neapolitan States awaiting the benediction of the Pope at St Peter's.
We are grateful to Briony Llewellyn for her help in preparing this catalogue entry.
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