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 | Recumbent figure

Russia 1873 – Australia 1930
Australia 1887-1900; England 1900-01; France 1901-02; England 1902-21; Australia from 1921
Recumbent figure
[Recumbent figure of a soldier]
56.2 (h) x 72.9 (w) cm
signed and dated 'GWLAMBERT/ 1927' lower right
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, purchased in 1941 Sydney photograph: Chilin Gieng for AGNSW
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This is one of four studies Lambert made for his sculpture Recumbent figure of a soldier (Unknown soldier) 1928–30 (cat.120) commissioned in 1928 for St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney. This version would appear to be the last, and most complete, version; it is the only one which includes a drape falling from underneath the figure and over the plinth (which was not used in the completed sculpture). With its incisive lines and subtle modelling, it has a sculptural aspect.

Lambert did not make a small-scale version for this sculpture, but worked directly from the preliminary drawings and his live model to the full-scale work. His sculpture became a three-dimensional realisation of his drawings.

‘It is an all-out performance in which his concept is fully expressed even to a feeling for bronze’, wrote the artist Douglas Dundas of this drawing. He continued, ‘the overall design is simple with a strong emphasis on the forms within it – the considered placing of hands, the searching analysis of the uniform and details of accoutrement. Yet all these are subordinate to the poignant evocation of youthful sacrifice’ (AGNSWQ 1965).

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