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 | Newcastle

Russia 1873 – Australia 1930
Australia 1887-1900; England 1900-01; France 1901-02; England 1902-21; Australia from 1921
[Newcastle Station and Harbour]
oil on canvas
40.7 (h) x 51.1 (w) cm
frame 56.0 (h) x 67.0 (w) x 5.5 (d) cm
Newcastle Region Art Gallery, purchased in 1959
VIEW: Article |

This view of Newcastle looking across the city centre towards Nobby’s Head and the harbour is Lambert’s only rooftop cityscape. His interest in form and design probably attracted him to paint this subject. He exploited the patterns made by the angles of the roofs and the solid faces of the crowded buildings, and he simplified the shapes and graduated the tones. In this apparently realist image, he created a decorative structure of interlocking geometrical forms and sharply defined outlines. Through this emphasis on the formal, decorative aspects, Lambert achieved a degree of abstraction.

Lambert visited Newcastle in 1925 to paint a commissioned portrait of Archibald Rankin, the President of the Newcastle Club. While there he also painted this view of Newcastle from the balcony of the club. The buildings included are (from left centre, running down Hunter Street) Palings Ltd (later Ells Bookshop), the Centennial Hotel (now closed), miscellaneous offices, the Union Bank of Australia (later the ANZ Bank), the Newcastle Post Office and the Criterion Hotel (later demolished). Behind these buildings there is the Newcastle Railway Station and the Customs House.

It would appear that Lambert did not have time to finish the work, as the foreground is incomplete.

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