In this work Lewis has set out to show his skill in rendering different textures and effects of brilliant colour: the model is carefully posed and she is surrounded by a rich variety of studio props. The pigments are vigorously worked; highlights have been created by scratching the paper. This picture is a good example of how some nineteenth-century watercolourists looked for ways of rivalling oil painting techniques. Lewis was one of the most successful painters in this style having started as an oil painter. Here, to the left, he has included a painting of a Venetian scene by R.P.Bonington: this shows Lewis paying homage to a brilliant artist who died when only twenty-six.
Gallery label, September 2004
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