In the Footsteps of Lord Byron: John Frederick Lewis in Greece and Albania

Wednesday 08 Dec 2021

Briony Llewellyn will introduce John Frederick Lewis (1804-1876), famed for the meticulous detail and jewel-like colours of his Orientalist paintings. In 1840, Lewis travelled through Greece and Albania on his way to Constantinople, and made numerous very striking watercolours of the people and places that he encountered. Charles Newton has pieced together Lewis’s journey, and he will take up the story with an examination of what inspired him to take the particular route that he followed.

Briony Llewellyn is an independent scholar who specialises in British and Maltese artists’ depictions of the Near and Middle East.  She has made a particular study of the British Orientalist artist, John Frederick Lewis, and is Guest Curator of the exhibition, John Frederick Lewis: Facing Fame, at the Watts Gallery. She is co-compiler of a forthcoming catalogue raisonné of Lewis’s work.

She worked on the catalogue of the Searight Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1985-88, and since then has lectured and contributed to numerous exhibition and auction catalogues on Luigi Mayer, Amadeo Preziosi, Edward Lear, David Roberts, and John Frederick Lewis. In 2008 she was loans consultant for Tate Britain’s exhibition of British Orientalism, The Lure of the East; she was also co-curator of an exhibition at the Royal Academy on John Frederick Lewis’s early work.  She has published articles and essays in journals and multi-author publications on both Roberts and Lewis.  She will be editing a forthcoming book of essays on Lewis to be published by the American University in Cairo Press. She is a contributor to Inspired by the East: How the Islamic World influenced Western Art, an exhibition at the British Museum, 10 October 2019 – 26 January 2020.

Charles Newton was a curator in the Victoria and Albert Museum from 1969 until he retired in 2005. He worked in various departments in the V&A Museum, including Circulation [Travelling Exhibitions], Textiles, and Sculpture. He was in Prints & Drawings department from 1975 until he retired in 2005, as Deputy Head of Paintings. He has published books and articles, and lectured on a wide variety of subjects, including Victorian genre painting, printmaking, illustration, the Searight Collection, Orientalism, John Frederick Lewis, 19th century design, British textile designs, Owen Jones, and Christopher Dresser, Achille-Constant-Théodore-Émile Prisse d’Avennes, and contributed to many exhibition catalogues. His special interest is in pictures of the Ottoman Empire, particularly Turkey, and he has published various articles and reviews on this subject. He is co-compiler of a forthcoming catalogue raisonné of John Frederick Lewis’s work.

1821 Commemorative Lecture Series: The Greek War of Independence Revisited

Organised by the Hellenic Centre


The Hellenic Centre


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