Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Lewis, Charles George

LEWIS, CHARLES GEORGE (1808–1880), engraver, second son of Frederick Christian Lewis (1779–1856) [q. v.], and brother of John Frederick Lewis (1805–1876) [q. v.], was born at Enfield, Middlesex, on 13 June 1808. He was instructed in drawing and engraving entirely by his father, and acquired great facility in etching and in combining the different manners of line, stipple, and mezzotint engraving, but he sometimes made use of line or mezzotint alone. Many of his best-known plates are after the works of Sir Edwin Landseer. The earliest of these was ‘Hafed,’ published in 1837, and followed by ‘Hawking in the Olden Time’ in 1842, ‘The Hawk,’ ‘The Peregrine Falcon,’ and ‘Breeze’ in 1843, ‘Islay, Macaw, and Love Birds’ in 1844, ‘The Cat's Paw’ in 1846, ‘The Otter Hunt’ in 1847, ‘Hunters at Grass’ and ‘Shoeing’ in 1848, ‘The Woodcutter’ in 1849, ‘The Random Shot’ and ‘A Cover Hack’ in 1851, ‘A Grand Hart’ in 1853, ‘Baying the Stag’ and ‘The Poacher’ in 1873, ‘Deer in Woburn Park’ in 1877, and ‘Collie Dogs,’ engraved for the Bristol Art Union. Besides these are several smaller plates after works of Landseer, most of which had previously been engraved by Thomas Landseer [q. v.] and others. Among them are the ‘Twa Dogs,’ ‘Jack in Office,’ ‘Crossing the Bridge,’ ‘The Rescue,’ ‘Suspense,’ ‘Sleeping Bloodhound,’ ‘Return from Hawking,’ ‘A Distinguished Member of the Humane Society,’ ‘Protection: Hen and Chickens’ (from the ‘Highland Drovers’), ‘Otter and Salmon,’ ‘The Sanctuary’ (two plates), ‘The Challenge,’ ‘Not caught yet’ (two plates), ‘Shoeing’ (two smaller plates), ‘Retriever and Woodcock,’ ‘Spaniel and Pheasant,’ ‘The Deer Stalker's Return,’ ‘Lion’ (a Newfoundland dog), and ‘A Drive of Deer—Glen Orchay.’ His etchings after Landseer commenced with ‘To-ho!’ published in 1830, and included the set of eight plates of ‘The Mothers.’ Lewis engraved also some plates after Rosa Bonheur: ‘Bouricairos crossing the Pyrenees,’ 1859; ‘The Highland Shepherd’ and ‘Huntsman taking Hounds to Cover,’ 1861; ‘A Scottish Raid,’ 1862; ‘The Horse Fair,’ 1863; ‘A Family of Deer crossing the Summit of the Long Rocks, Forest of Fontainebleau,’ 1867; ‘Shetland Ponies,’ 1870; ‘The Lime Cart’ and ‘Changing Pastures,’ 1872; ‘Denizens of the Highlands,’ 1873; and ‘Morning in the Highlands.’ His works after other painters include ‘Interior of a Highland Cottage,’ after J. F. Lewis, R.A.; ‘Robinson Crusoe reading the Bible to his Man Friday’ and ‘Asking a Blessing,’ after A. Fraser; ‘The Village Festival’ and ‘The Card Players,’ after Sir David Wilkie, R.A.; ‘The Bay of Spezzia,’ ‘Sea-shore,’ and ‘Sunset,’ after R. P. Bonnington; ‘The Highland Larder,’ after F. Tayler; ‘The Waterloo Heroes,’ after J. P. Knight, R.A.; ‘The Melton Breakfast,’ after Sir Francis Grant, P.R.A.; ‘The Introduction of Christianity into Great Britain,’ after J. R. Herbert, R.A.; ‘Eton Montem: the School Yard’ and ‘The Playing Fields,’ a pair, after W. Evans; ‘Sheep Farming in the Highlands,’ a set of four plates, and ‘Rescued,’ after R. Ansdell, R.A.; ‘A Plunge for Life,’ after Samuel Carter; ‘The Crucifixion,’ after H. C. Selous; ‘Morning on the Seine,’ after J. Troyon; the ‘Salon d'Or,’ after W. P. Frith, R.A.; ‘A Panic,’ after H. W. B. Davis, R.A.; ‘Picardy Peasants going to a Fair,’ after R. Beavis; and several historical plates after Thomas Jones Barker.

Lewis retired from the practice of his art about 1877, and died suddenly from apoplexy at his residence at Felpham, near Bognor, on 16 June 1880. He was buried in Felpham churchyard.

[Times, 22 June 1880, reprinted in Art Journal, 1880, p. 330; Bryan's Dict. of Painters and Engravers, ed. Graves, 1886–9, ii. 50; Algernon Graves's Cat. of the Works of Sir Edwin Landseer, 1875.]

R. E. G.