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 | Head of a Turk, Chanak

Russia 1873 – Australia 1930
Australia 1887-1900; England 1900-01; France 1901-02; England 1902-21; Australia from 1921
Head of a Turk, Chanak 11 February 1919
pencil and watercolour
30.6 (h) x 24.4 (w) cm
signed 'G.WL.' lower centre
Australian War Memorial, Canberra, acquired under the official war art scheme in 1921
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This portrait was painted while Lambert was staying at Cannakkale (also called Chanak), a small city on the Asiatic side of the Dardanelles Strait, where the Australian Historical Mission to Gallipoli spent a week from 7 to 14 February 1919, before crossing to the Gallipoli peninsula. Lambert wrote to Amy on 14 February 1919: ‘Snow Blizzards Ice & general discomfort. No coal or wood and a damp gloomy fifth rate house called the Lion Hotel, may I live to forget it.’ (ML MSS 97/4, item 1).

Lambert painted this head-and-shoulder portrait of an unidentified Turk in a turban looking into the distance with a proud expression and thrusting chin, capturing the Turk’s dignity and inner life. He has a pleasantly browned complexion, a dark moustache, light brown eyes and dark eyebrows and chin stubble. Lambert drew the outline of the head with pencil and built up the features and costume with deft strokes of watercolour wash.

This is one of a number of images of Turks and Arabs which Lambert made during his period as a war artist.

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