John Frederick Lewis

The Bazaar of the Ghûriyah from the Steps of the Mosque of El-Ghûri, Cairo


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
John Frederick Lewis 1805–1876
Graphite, watercolour and gouache on paper
Support: 540 × 379 mm
Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996

Display caption

After visiting Italy, Greece and Spain in search of subject matter, Lewis went to Egypt  in 1841. He stayed there for ten years and continued to paint Middle- Eastern scenes until the end of his life.

This sketch was probably created on the spot. It shows the bazaar in the street of the Ghûriyah on the east side of the mosque of El-Ghûri. Lewis's art provided English viewers with a persuasive vision of Middle- Eastern life, based on first hand observations like this. Nonetheless, his finished paintings incorporated many traditional fantasies and assumptions about the Islamic world.

Gallery label, September 2004

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