Specializing in Oriental and Mediterranean scenes, he was born in London in 1805, the son of landscape painter and engraver Frederick Christian Lewis (1779-1856).
In the early years of his career, Lewis spent much of his time studying and drawing animals along with his friend, Edwin Landseer. In 1827, he moved out of his family's house and set up his own studio. From then on, he began painting almost exclusively in watercolors. He also switched from animals and sporting subjects to landscapes, interiors and figure studies. In March of 1827, Lewis became an Associate of the Old Water-Colour Society (O.W.C.S.) and was appointed a full member in June of 1829.
In 1829 he accompanied his father to Devons
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