Elisabeth Lewis, 1844-1931
Date of Birth: 1844
Place of Birth: Mannheim
Elisabeth Eberstadt was one of the numerous children of Falck (Ferdinand I.) Eberstadt and Sara (Zelie) Seligmann. She was the second wife of the solicitor George Henry Lewis. His first wife, Victorine, died in 1865. There was one daughter from this marriage, Alice Victorine. Elisabeth married George Lewis in 1867. They had three children: George, Gertrude and Katherine (d. 1961).
Elisabeth Lewis was a renowned society hostess, particularly for the musical soirees she held at her home at 88 Portland Place, Walton-on-Thames. The Lewises were good friends with JW, a frequent dinner guest at their home, and they were supportive of him at the time of his libel trial against Ruskin. Elisabeth was very disappointed that the jury did not come out more strongly in JW's favour (#02519). Elisabeth, who attended JW's Ten O'Clock lecture at Prince's Hall, Piccadilly, on 20 February 1885, thought the performance 'brilliant' and asked JW to send her a copy (#02520). At JW's marriage to Beatrix in 1888 she was among those to congratulate the couple and wish them 'a long & prosperous united life' (#02522).
In 1891 Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle y137, having been cleaned and varnished, was deposited with the Lewises for a short time before it was purchased by the Corporation of the City of Glasgow at the end of March (#02526). Elisabeth's brother Maximilian died in London in this year (#02527).
Elisabeth became Lady Lewis in 1893 when her husband was knighted. The Lewis' collection was left to their daughter Katherine Lewis, who bequeathed it to her niece Elizabeth Wansbrough. It was sold at Sotheby's, London, on 7 June 1995.
Eberstadt family tree at http://www.eberstadt.info/gallery (accessed 2005); Christian, John, Burne-Jones, exhibition catalogue, Arts Council, London, 1975; Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford, 2004; 'Portrait of Lady Lewis, Sir Edward Burne-Jones', in http://www.victorianweb.org/painting/bj/wc/6.html (accessed 2005).