DETAIL : George LAMBERT  Russia 1873 � Australia 1930  'Chesham Street' [Chesney Street; The Doctor; Harley Street] 1910  oil on canvas National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased in 1993 DETAIL : George LAMBERT  Russia 1873 � Australia 1930  'The convex mirror' c.1916  oil with pencil on wood panel private collection
George LAMBERT | Life study

Russia 1873 – Australia 1930
Australia 1887-1900; England 1900-01; France 1901-02; England 1902-21; Australia from 1921
Life study
[Life study (self-portrait)]
35.4 (h) x 24.7 (w) cm
signed and dated 'GeoWLAMBERT./ 1909 Dec.' lower centre
State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, gift of John Brackenreg in 1974
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Here Lambert depicted a nude man seated with his trousers around his feet, presenting his body with cool detachment. His face shows a quizzical expression, which adds to the slight sense of absurdity of this image. Certainly, the presence of the dropped trousers makes the man appear more naked than nude – as if he has been stripped or caught out, rather than posing naturally.

Although this drawing has been thought to be a self-portrait it is probably not. About this time Lambert used a model with similar features to himself, including a beard and receding hairline. The man’s hair, however, was even more receding than Lambert’s, his eyebrows higher, his cheeks chubbier and his beard thicker. It is likely that the model for the drawing is this man, and that this was the model who was then posing for Lambert for his portrait of King Edward VII. In 1961 Thea Proctor recalled that this professional model had once been a sailor (Thomas 1962).

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