Born in Philadelphia, Edmund Darch Lewis would live his entire life in that city enjoying one of the nineteenth century's most financially successful careers as a land and seascape painter. For a time his sales of oil and watercolor paintings, most notably his watercolor marines, exceeded every other artist's in the country.
Lewis initially studied for five years under American master Paul Weber. In 1854, at the age of 19, he would mount his first successful exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy. Later his paintings were exhibited and won awards at the National Academy of Design and the Boston Athenaeum as well as many of the other most important venues of his day.
Lewis' choice of picturesque subject matter, almost always depicting scenes along the eastern seaboard, combined with his distinctive approach to coloration, made his works immensely popular during his lifetime. Today, these same factors generate an appeal for his works among collectors of fine American paintings nationwide.