This remarkable profile drawing of an unknown Light Horse veteran was drawn in Sydney after Lambert’s return to Australia. Lambert brilliantly modelled the head to capture the texture of the man’s skin, his tense muscle structure and down-turned mouth, his shiny forehead and almost bald head. Lambert gave the subject living presence.
There is, as the Sydney Morning Herald critic reported on 10 September 1925, ‘strength and expression in every line’, giving the head, as the same critic observed on 26 November 1930, a ‘massive power’.
Andrew Sayers has observed that ‘Lambert’s pencil drawings were to be highly influential in Australia after his return in 1921’, especially among students in Sydney, who idolised him. His enthusiasm for ‘drawing for drawing’s sake’ was particularly significant for these students (Sayers 1989, pp.126, 150). Later artists have also admired his remarkable ability, with Douglas Dundas commenting that the modelling and textures in this superb drawing are ‘searched out to the last degree’, ‘a feat which only those who draw can appreciate’ (AGNSWQ 1965).
The drawing was purchased by the Art Gallery of New South Wales at the New South Wales Society of Artists exhibition in 1925.