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Collection

An image of Holiday in Essex by George W Lambert
Alternate image of Holiday in Essex by George W Lambert Alternate image of Holiday in Essex by George W Lambert

George W Lambert

(Russia, Australia 1873 – 1930)

Title
Holiday in Essex
Year
(1910)
Media category
Painting
Materials used
oil on canvas
Dimensions

183.8 x 230.6 cm stretcher; 210.0 x 256.0 x 10.0 cm frame; 181.0 x 227.0 cm sight edge

Signature & date
Signed l.r. corner, black oil "G.W.LAMBERT". Not dated.
Credit
Purchased with assistance from the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales and the Marshall Bequest Fund 1981
Accession number
157.1981
Location
19th c Australian art
Further information

'Holiday in Essex' was the last of Lambert's important group of Velásquez-inspired portrait groups. This monumental painting displays a scale and opulence of paint-handling exemplifying Lambert's inspiration to paint in the 'grand manner'. Painted in his London studio, the subject was derived from the family holiday at Mersea Island in Essex and depicts Lambert's wife Amy and sons Constant and Maurice. Arthur José described its conception in 'The Art of George Lambert A.R.A.', in 1924:

'It began as a deliberate attempt to emulate the Spanish (or rather the continental) convention of the days of Velasquez ... the placing of the figures and the background, and the lighting of the studio was so arranged as to produce the traditional chiaroscuro of that epoch. The landscape, though remembered from Essex, was built up on a high platform in the studio, on which the group was posed, pony and all ... The artist in fact, was testing himself: "Can I, too, paint with the methods devised so long ago and approved by tradition?" '

Bibliography (19)

Candice Bruce, Brought to light: Australian Art 1850-1965, 'Family and a Special Friend. George Washington Lambert Portrait group (The mother)', pg. 102-7, South Brisbane, 1998, 102.

Edmund Capon, I blame Duchamp: my life's adventures in art, 'John Bull and the Little Boy at Manly', pg. 321-333, Surry Hills, 2009, 323, 325, 327 (colour illus.).

Deborah Edwards, Two centuries of Australian painting: a selection from the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Introduction', pg. 8-14, Sydney, 1986, 11, 24, 35 (colour illus.). cat.no. 16

Elizabeth Fortesque., Daily telegraph, 'Art is in the frame', Surry Hills, 04 Aug 2000, page unknown (colour illus., detail). Article about restoration of frames for the 'Australian Icons' exhibition and features a photograph of David Butler with 'Holiday in Essex'.

Anne Gray, George Lambert (1873-1930) catalogue raisonné: paintings and sculpture, drawings in public collections, Perth, 1996, 34, 35. cat.no. P114

Ali Gripper., The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Great art starts with the framework', Sydney, 04 Aug 2000, page unknown (colour illus.). Article about restoration of frames for the 'Australian Icons' exhibition and features a photograph of Installation Crew with 'Holiday in Essex'.

Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales Handbook, 'Australian Collection: Painting and Sculpture', pg. 102-181, Sydney, 1999, 130 (colour illus.).

Hendrik Kolenberg, Look, 'George Lambert's drawings', pg. 22-23, Newtown, Oct 2006, 22.

Meg van Kool, Look, 'George Lambert: 1873-1930 Draughtsman painter', pg. 38, South Yarra, May 2000, 38 (colour illus.). Australian Icon series

Lionel Lindsay, Art in Australia [vol. 1, no. 7], 'George W. Lambert', pg. 2-6, Sydney, 1919, 5.

Ewen McDonald (Editor), The Art Gallery of New South Wales Collections, 'From Colonialism to late Modernism', pg. 7-106, Sydney, 1994, 24 (colour illus.), 25.

Barry Pearce, Look: 1953-2003 celebrating 50 years, 'Presenting our own artists: how the AGS put balance into the Australian collection', pg. 42-44, Newtown, May 2003, 43.

Barry Pearce, Look, 'Jewel of a painting returns: Out of Australian sight for nearly ninety years', pg. 12-13, Newtown, Mar 2010, 12.

Barry Pearce, Art Gallery of New South Wales Handbook, 'Australian', pg. 13-35, Sydney, 1988, 20 (illus.).

Ursula Prunster, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Home and abroad', pg. 73-74, Sydney, 2000, 74, 96, 97 (colour illus.), 301.

Jennifer Sexton., The Australian, 'A crime where the victim was framed', Surry Hills, 03 Aug 2000, page unknown (illus., detail). Article about restoration of frames for the 'Australian Icons' exhibition and features a photograph of David Butler with 'Holiday in Essex'.

Jill Sykes (Editor), Look, 'Good news in the air: introducing SBS radio broadcaster and new Society Council Member Phoebe Alexander', pg. 46, Newtown, Dec 2002-Jan 2003, 46 (colour illus.). Interview between Alejandra Szcaepaniak and Phoebe Alexander.

Martin Terry, Art Monthly Australia, 'Moulin Rouge: Charles Conder at the Art Gallery of New South Wales', pg. 31-34, Acton, Nov 2003, 34.

Editor Unknown, Pictures of 1910 Prize Competition: 'Pall Mall magazine extra', London, 1910, 65 (illus.).

Exhibition history (4)

Society of Artists Spring Exhibition (1913), Society Rooms, Queen Victoria Markets, Sydney, Nov 1913 -

Two centuries of Australian painting, a selection from the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Orange Regional Gallery, Australia, 19 Apr 1986–15 Jun 1986

Australian icons: twenty artists from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 04 Aug 2000–03 Dec 2000

George Lambert retrospective: heroes & icons, National Gallery of Australia, Parkes, 29 Jun 2007–16 Sep 2007