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Lambert, George Washingtonlocked

Australian, 19th – 20th century, male.

Active in Australia from 1887.

Born 13 September 1873, in St Petersburg, Russia, to an American father and a British mother; died 29 May 1930, in Cobbity, New South Wales.

Painter, sculptor. Nudes, portraits, genre scenes, landscapes.

George Washington LAMBERT: signature or monogram

George Washington Lambert's family lived in Württemberg, Germany and in England before migrating to Australia in 1887. He trained with Julian Ashton at the Art Society of New South Wales in Sydney and in 1894 he exhibited with the Art Society and the Society of Artists. The following year he began producing pen-and-ink cartoons for the Bulletin. In 1899 he was awarded the Wynne prize for his painting Accross the Black Soil Plains and in 1900 he was awarded a travel grant as first prize from the Society of Artists of New South Wales. He travelled to Europe, studying at the Académie Colarossi and at the Atelier Delécluze in Paris before settling in London. He exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français in Paris and became a member of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts (1907) and the Chelsea Arts Club. In 1922 he was elected an associate of the Royal Academy of Art.

In 1917 Lambert was appointed an official war artist to the Australian Imperial Force and was sent to North Africa and Palestine. He returned to Australia in 1921, where he enjoyed great success as a portrait and landscape artist. At the end of his career he turned to sculpture and received several commissions for public memorials.

Group Exhibitions

2001, Our Country: Australian Federation Landscapes 1900-1914, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide

2004, The Edwardians: Secrets and Desires, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (travelling exhibition)

Solo Exhibitions

1993, A Brush with the Bush: George Lambert, the Early Years, Dubbo Regional Art Gallery, New South Wales

2002, People and Destiny: George Lambert and Federation, Dubbo Regional Art Gallery, New South Wales (travelling exhibition)

2007, George W. Lambert: Retrospective Heroes and Icons, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Museum and Gallery Holdings

Adelaide (AG of South Australia): The Smile of Pan (1915, oil on panel); The Half-back (Maurice Lambert) (1920, oil on canvas)

Brisbane (Queensland AG): Portrait group (The mother) (1907, oil on canvas); Walk (An incident at Romani) (1919-1922, oil on canvas)

Canberra (Australian War Memorial): Balcony of the Troopers' Ward, 14th Australian General Hospital, Abbassia (1919, oil and pencil on wood); The Anzacs (Maquette for Desert Mounted Corps memorial competition) (from 1919, bronze)

Canberra (Nat. Gal. of Australia): Hugh Ramsay in London (1901, brush and ink, grey wash heightened with white); The Sonnet (c. 1907, oil on canvas); Chesham Street (1910, oil on canvas); Weighing the Fleece (1921, oil on canvas); The Empty Glass [Flower Piece] (1930, oil on canvas)

Hobart (Tasmanian Mus. and AG): The Artist and the Geelong Memorial Figure (Self-portrait) (c. 1924, oil on plywood)

Leeds (City AG): The Pond (1908)

London (National Portrait Gal.): Self-portrait (c. 1900-1901, oil on canvas); Francis Derwent Wood (1906, oil on canvas)

Melbourne (Nat. Gal. of Victoria): Lotty and a Lady (1906, oil on canvas); Self-portrait (c. 1906, oil on canvas); A Sergeant of the Light Horse (1920, oil on canvas); The Official Artist (Self-portrait) (1921, oil on canvas)

Melbourne (University Art Collection): The Tirranna Picnic Race Meeting (1927-1929, oil on canvas)

Sydney (AG of New South Wales): Accross the Black Soil Plains (1899, oil on canvas); Hugh Ramsay (1901, oil on canvas); Miss Thea Proctor (1903, oil on canvas); Equestrian Portrait of a Boy (c. 1905, oil on canvas); Pan is Dead (Still life) (1911, oil on canvas); The Red Shawl (Olave Cunninghame Graham) (1913, oil on canvas); Important People (c. 1914-1921, oil and pencil on canvas)

Auction Records

London, 24 May 1946: Arab Encampment, GBP 115

London, 12 Oct 1973: Portrait of Miss Sybil Waller, Gns 4,200

Melbourne, 14 March 1974: Portrait of a Young Woman with her Dog, AUD 20,000

London, 3 Nov 1976: The Derwent Wood Family (oil on panel, 9½ × 12¾ ins/24 × 32.5 cm) GBP 2,500

Melbourne, 11 March 1977: Group Portrait of Miss Alison Preston and John Proctor (1909, oil on canvas, 40¼ × 50 ins/102 × 127 cm) AUD 18,000

Los Angeles, 23 June 1980: Woman with Two Children and a Horse (oil on canvas, 72 × 90 ins/183 × 228.5 cm) USD 17,500

Sydney, 2 March 1981: Seated Nude Portrait (oil on canvas, 26¾ × 15 ins/68 × 38 cm) AUD 3,000

London, 19 May 1982: T. H. Preston on Mearbeck Moor, Yorkshire (1909, oil on canvas, 19¼ × 23¼ ins/49 × 59 cm) GBP 6,200

Sydney, 8 July 1985: Woman with a Fan (oil on canvas, 29¼ × 24½ ins/74 × 62 cm) AUD 15,000

Sydney, 29 Oct 1987: T. H. Preston on Mearbeck Moor, Yorkshire (1909, oil on canvas, 19¼ × 23¼ ins/49 × 59 cm) AUD 18,000

Sydney, 26 March 1990: The Impropriety of Things (ink heightened with white, 7 × 7½ ins/18 × 19 cm) AUD 850

Sydney, 2 July 1990: Megalong Valley (oil on panel, 11 × 15¼ ins/28 × 39 cm) AUD 3,000

Sydney, 15 Oct 1990: L'Expérience de Clarence (1904, ink and gouache, 13 × 7½ ins/33 × 19 cm) AUD 1,900


  • Gray, Anne: A Brush with the Bush: George Lambert, the Early Years, exhibition catalogue, Dubbo Regional Art Gallery, New South Wales, 1993.
  • Gray, Anne: George Lambert 1873-1930: Paintings and Sculpture, Drawings in Public Collections, catalogue raisonné, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1996.
  • Gray, Anne: George W. Lambert: Retrospective Heroes and Icons, exhibition catalogue, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2007.