UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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George Henry Lewis, 1833-1911

Nationality: English
Date of Birth: 1833.04.21
Place of Birth: 10 Ely Place, Holborn
Date of Death: 1911.12.07
Place of Death: Portland Place, London

Identity:

Sir George Henry Lewis, society lawyer. He was married in 1863 to Victorine Kann (d. 1865); they had a daughter Alice Victoria. He was married for a second time in 1867 to Elisabeth Eberstadt, with whom he had three children, George, Gertrude and Katherine (d. 1961).

Life:

A distinguished lawyer, of Lewis & Lewis, who specialised in 'society' cases, keeping people out court and avoiding publicity. He represented JW in several affairs, from before his bankruptcy in 1878, for example in the case against Frederick Leyland regarding the ownership of Pink and Grey: Three Figures (YMSM 89). In December 1886, while JW was painting Harmony in White and Ivory: Portrait of Lady Colin Campbell (YMSM 354), Lewis was cross-examining the Duke of Marlborough in Lady Colin's divorce case. The Lewises were patrons of the arts, and close friends of Burne Jones. Lady Lewis was much painted and admired, a cultivated woman and gracious hostess. She maintained a friendly correspondence with JW, and it is possible that she is the lady in A woman and a man seated in a garden (M.1438), seen perhaps outside their house at Walton-on-Thames, where JW was an occasional visitor. In 1892 he was made Sir George Lewis CVO 1st Baronet. The office of Lewis & Lewis was at 10-1 Ely Place and the Lewises also had a home at 88 Portland Place.