This drawing is related to Lambert’s first sculpture, The Anzacs (Maquette for Desert Mounted Corps memorial competition) 1919–35 (cat.105). Lambert’s submission, portraying the Anzac troops and horses in action in Sinai and Palestine, was rejected by the assessors for the memorial group because it would have been too expensive to cast full size. The competition was for a memorial to be erected in Egypt, at Port Said, and was won in 1923 by Web Gilbert.
It was recommended that the Australian War Memorial acquire the model that Lambert had submitted for the competition. During 1926, the Memorial debated whether the sculpture was appropriate for its collection because of its symbolical, and possibly controversial, nature. It was eventually purchased and cast in plaster in 1928, and in bronze in 1932. This drawing may have been made by Lambert during these discussions to encourage the Memorial to purchase the work. It shows a portion of the work viewed from behind, with the rearing horse at the back of the group, and the man falling backwards off this horse.
Lambert used his pencil, together with grey washes, to create a dramatic view of the sculpture. He used tone to give the image a strong three-dimensional quality, and added brief, quick linear flourishes to convey the unfinished aspect of the image, but also to create a sense of movement. He attached sufficient significance to the drawing to sign it and add ‘ARA’ to the signature.