John Lewis (Fl. 1737 - 1765)
Oil on Canvas, 100 x 127cm / 127 x 178cm
John Lewis was a portrait painter, active in the mid 18th Century, both in England and thereafter in Dublin, Ireland. He was highly regarded during the period and noted for his considerable technical ability. He possessed a flair for capturing the elegance, colour and extravagance of his subjects in dramatic architectural settings.
Upon his move to Dublin, his growing reputation enabled him to focus solely on portraiture. This work demonstrates his skill at rendering architectural forms and effortlessly convincing drapery - perhaps unsurprising, given his experience as a scene painter at the Dublin Playhouse. Portraying the sitter with a dignified confidence and grandeur, illustrates the influence of Lewis's contemporary Thomas Hudson. Lewis's affinity with the theatre resulted in perhaps his most famous works, the portraits of actress Margaret 'Peg' Woffington and playwright, Thomas Sheridan.
Both the National Portrait Gallery, London and the National Gallery, Dublin hold examples of his work, also represented in a number of prestigious international private collections.
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