E. Goodwin Lewis Biblical Lands scene – merchants leaving a walled city- watercolour, c.1880

$765.00 AUD

Edward Goodwin Lewis (1827-1891)

View in the Holy Land, a walled city with Mosque & Church behind, merchants & their camels on the road leading from the gates.

Signed lower right (twice)

Circa 1880

Work 25x48cm, frame 42.5×63.5cm

Condition: laid onto card, fair condition with slight fading & foxing, displays well.


Edward Goodwyn Lewis (1827-91) was a British artist, most noted for his portraits. He was active from the 1850’s, and built up a good reputation for his portraiture.
He came to Australia in the 1880’s. His immediate family, three siblings, step-mother & his father, had migrated to Australia in the 1850’s, so he was ‘visiting family’ – but he also received a good number of commissions as a ‘celebrity visiting artist’.

Among them was the Melbourne Mayor, Cornelius Job Ham (mayor 1881-2) a magnificent large 3/4 length portrait now in the ‘City of Melbourne Art and Heritage Collection’. Their documentation states

“E. Goodwyn Lewis (1827-1891) may have been a travelling artist, perhaps touring the colonies. All that is known about him is that he exhibited in the Victorian Academy of Arts Annual Exhibition in 1884 and 1885. Many of the works exhibited were studies made on location in Egypt and the Middle East.”

He is well documented in the UK, where he can be seen in the British Museum and National Portrait Gallery.

He had spent ‘about 10 years’ travelling the Middle East, and it is interesting to note that his studies done while there were exhibited at the Victorian Academy of Arts Exhibition in 1884-5. This work may well be one of those studies.

Two other works from this period were sold at Bonhams in 2020:


Tuesday 11 March 1884 ‘The Herald’ reported:

A great improvement is noticeable in this
exhibition upon those of former years, and
Mr Goodwyn Lewis’s advent as an exhibitor
must be source of pleasure to all interested
in the progress of art in Melbourne. He for-
wards six paintings, amongst them the
wonderful sketch of the Lord’s Supper,
mentioned in a description of his studio recently
given in The Herald.


An exhibition was mounted in Ballarat in 1884, ‘The Fine Arts Exhibition’ in the Town Hall. Lewis was a contributor with a number of oils & watercolours – and when the success of the exhibition led to the forming of a committee to create a permanent public art gallery in Ballarat, Lewis announced he would donate one of his most popular images, a portrait of Queen Victoria.





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