During his artistic career he exhibited several paintings at the Royal Academy and at the Society of British Artists, yet he never achieved national recognition from his Victorian audience.
Lefevre is perhaps best known abroad, particularly in the USA. The reason for this is that he visited America in 1859 producing over 300 sketches. Today, many of Lefevre’s works are in notable American institutions such as the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), the White House (Washington DC) and The Lily Library (Indiana University).
Lefevre is not only of interest as a fine Victorian artist, but also as a member of a notable local family. The Cranstone’s were influential within the political, religious and industrial spheres of Hemel Hempstead, running the iron foundry in the High Street and holding prominent positions in the town’s Society of Friends (Quakers).
The final decade of his life was spent in Australia, where he moved following the death of his wife, Lilia, in 1882. The warmth and light appears to have rejuvenated his artistic verve. He died in Brisbane in 1893, aged 71.
By the Dacorum Heritage Trust