Algernon Talmage (1871–1939) was a British painter of landscapes, animals and figure subjects. He ran an art school at St Ives, Cornwall, from 1900 to 1907. Like Lambert he was an ardent horseman; they probably met at the Chelsea Arts Club.
In 1937 the Sydney music publisher and broadcaster Frank Albert commissioned Talmage to paint The founding of Australia 1788 , which Albert then presented to the Tate Gallery. A print was made of the image by the Medici Society of London in 1937.
In July 1920 Lambert visited Talmage’s country house at Tintagel in Cornwall, in search of summer sun and open air, but it rained most of the time. Lambert painted this work on one of the few sunny days during his visit. Martha was the dappled grey mare which Talmage is shown riding and James another of Talmage’s horses. Lambert depicted man and horses in front of the rolling hills of the Cornish coast under a clouded blue sky. In his direct, naturalist approach to the subject and his representation of the sharp, bright light, Lambert worked in a similar manner to that of Talmage – thereby not only portraying Talmage, but also evoking the spirit of his art.