John Frederick Lewis

The Siesta

1876

Artist
John Frederick Lewis 1805–1876
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 886 x 1111 mm
frame: 1245 x 1470 x 90 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1921
Reference
N03594

Not on display

Display caption

The artist Edward Lear said of Lewis’s Near Eastern subjects ‘There never have been, and there never will be, any works depicting Oriental life more truly beautiful and excellent’.A trip to Spain in the early 1830s kindled Lewis’s interest in ‘exotic’ lands, and in 1841 he settled in Cairo for ten years. On his return to England he earned a reputation for images of the Near East painted in watercolour or oils. Characterised by their bright colours and attention to detail, they often show languid figures, especially women in harems, who are often given western features.

Gallery label, May 2007

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