Hon. Lewis Strange Wingfield, Subject Painter

(b. 1842, d. 1891)

Subject Painter

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

Hon. Lewis S. Wingfield, R.H.A. Photograph.

Was born on 25th February, 1842, the third and youngest son of Richard, 6th Viscount Powerscourt, by his wife, Lady Elizabeth Jocelyn, daughter of Robert, second Earl of Roden. He was educated at Eton and afterwards at Bonn. His youth was spent in a diversity of pursuits: the stage, painting, literature, all in turn as his wayward and unsettled disposition prompted him. In 1865 he acted at the Haymarket theatre; afterwards studied singing at Antwerp, and during the Franco-Prussian war was in Paris studying painting, and during the siege he contributed articles to the "Daily Telegraph," and described the scenes of the Commune for "The Times."

Turning his attention to painting, in which he had already done some work, he took a house in London and was, for some time, a contributor to the exhibitions at the Royal Academy and the Royal Hibernian Academy. He was elected an Associate of the latter body on 18th July, 1871, and a Member on 16th January, 1872. He decorated the upper panels of the saloon at Powerscourt with a series of paintings on gilt canvas, representing subjects from Moore's Poems. At Powerscourt, also, was a large picture, "Puzzled," by him, which was sold at Bennett's, Dublin, in April, 1912; and in the Council Room of the Royal Hibernian Academy, is a portrait of his brother, "Mervyn, 7th Viscount Powerscourt," exhibited in 1890. Abandoning painting he took to the designing of costumes for the London theatres, and his fine taste and varied archaeological knowledge enabled him to arrange some of the finest settings ever seen on the English stage. He designed the costumes for Miss Anderson's "Romeo and Juliet" at the Lyceum in 1885, and for Mrs. Langtry's "Antony and Cleopatra" in 1891.

He wrote theatrical criticisms under the name of "Whyte Tyghe," and was author of "The Wanderings of a Globe-Trotter," and of several novels, including "My Lords of Strome " and "Lady Grizel." His house in Montague Place contained a varied collection of objects of art and "curios," from pictures down to "my favourite rope with which I hanged thirty-two persons," given him by Berry, the hangman. While in India, in 1884, he contracted an illness from which he never recovered, and, after a voyage to Australia undertaken for his health, he died at 14 Montague Place, London, on 12th November, 1891, and was buried at Kensal Green. Wingfield married in 1868, Cecilia Emma Fitzpatrick, daughter of the first Lord Castletown. His portrait by himself is at Powerscourt.

« Joseph Wilson | Contents and Search | Peter Wingfield »