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Lewis went to Cairo in 1841 and remained there for ten years and travelled throughout Egypt. After his return to Britain, his Egyptian drawings provided material for his paintings, including this view of the ruins at Edfu, located between Luxor and Aswan.English visitors to Egypt reported that Lewis had ‘gone native’, living in luxury in the Arab quarter of Cairo and wearing Islamic dress. This work shows his strong fascination with contemporary Egyptian culture, rather than with the ancient remains. The focus on contemporary figures and animals in this work is typical.

May 2007