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 | Woman's head

Russia 1873 – Australia 1930
Australia 1887-1900; England 1900-01; France 1901-02; England 1902-21; Australia from 1921
Woman's head c.1915
sight 36.5 (h) x 50.5 (w) cm
signed 'G W Lambert' lower centre
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, purchased through the Marshall Bequest Fund in 2005 Sydney photograph: Diana Panuccio
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This drawing is a study for Lambert’s revised version of the head of the mother in his major painting, Important people c.1914 (cat.54) Her head is in the same position as in the painting with her eyes looking downward, and she wears a similar open-necked jacket and broad-brimmed hat. But the effect is quite distinct: there is a gentle sweetness to this face and a slight melancholy. Lambert hardened her facial features in the painting, and made her expression slightly petulant or disdainful.

The model for the drawing was Eunice Graham (1886–1968), née Mort, the sister of Australian artist Eileen Mort. She trained as a violinist and pianist in Sydney. She lived with Australian artist Thea Proctor throughout the war while her husband was interned in Germany. This included a time in the Lamberts’ home. Lambert also used her as a model for his painting An Australian lady (Mrs Gilbert Graham) 1917 (present whereabouts unknown). Eunice Graham told her daughter that in London, sometime between 1915 and 1917, Lambert reworked the face of the woman in Important people , using Eunice as a model.

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