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An image of The shop by George W Lambert

George W Lambert

(Russia, Australia 1873 – 1930)

The shop
Place of origin
Media category
Materials used
oil on canvas

71.0 x 91.5 cm stretcher; 83.5 x 104.1 x 4.4 cm frame

Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r. corner, black oil "G.W. LAMBERT/ 1909-".
Purchased 1961
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

"In 'shop' the artist has arranged the elements of his profession: the portrait subject ... the lay figure (first aid to the mastery of drapery); and, lastly, the painter himself ..."
- Norman Lindsay 1919

Painted in Lambert's London studio, 'The shop' is an eloquent comment on the artificiality of studio portraiture. Lambert presents a formal arrangement of figures in which a model dressed as King Edward VII (of whom he painted a portrait at around this time) and a dummy model made from fabric, are counterpointed by a self-portrait of the artist himself at extreme right, acknowledging the viewer.

The title, an abbreviation of artist's 'workshop' also alludes to the inevitable fabrication necessary to any trade.

Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2000

Bibliography (15)

Alex Taylor, Perils of the studio: inside the artistic affairs of bohemian Melbourne, 'Surviving the interior', pg. 63-102, North Melbourne, 2007, 95, 96 (colour illus.). figure 84

Ann Galbally, The Edwardians: secrets and desires, 'Reflected selves', pg. 106-121, Canberra, 2004, 114 (colour illus.). figure no. 106

Michael Stutchbury (Editor), The Weekend Australian, 'Painter mastered the past', pg. 21, Surry Hills, 20 Apr 2002-21 Apr 2002, 21 (illus.). Review of exhibition 'People and Destiny: George Lambert and Federation'.

Heather Crosby, Weekend Liberal, 'Keeping the dream alive', pg. 10, Dubbo, 26 May 2001-27 May 2001, 10 (illus., detail).

Anne McLaughlin, People and destiny: George Lambert and Federation, 'People and destiny: George Lambert and Federation', pg. 10-33, Dubbo, 2001, front cover (colour illus.), 14, 23, 38.

Humphrey McQueen, Art Monthly Australia, 'Positions vacant', pg. 21-23, Acton, Sep 2000, 21 (illus.). review of 'Australian icons' exhibition

Anne Gray (Editor), Art and Artifice: George Lambert (1873-1930), 1996, 50.

Anne Gray, George Lambert (1873-1930) catalogue raisonné: paintings and sculpture, drawings in public collections, Perth, 1996, 28. P100

Terry Smith, Australian cultural history, 'Populism and Privilege in Australian Painting', pg. 190-210, Cambridge, 1988, 194-95, 203 (illus.). plate no. 3

Julian Ashton, The Art of George W Lambert, Sydney, 1924, (colour illus.). plate no. 89; no owner given

G.F.H. Schuler (Editor), Age, Melbourne, 21 Jul 1923, 15.

Unknown (Editor), Sun, Sydney, 21 Jul 1923, 2.

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Herald, Melbourne, 18 Jul 1923, 6.

Jimmy MacDonald, The art and life of George W. Lambert, Melbourne, 1920, 9.

Lionel Lindsay, Art in Australia [vol. 1, no. 7], 'George Lambert', pg. 2-6, Sydney, 1919, 5 (colour illus.), 6. 'In the possession of Hugo Meyer, Esq., Melbourne'

Exhibition history (5)

Purchases and Acquisitions for 1961, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 04 Apr 1962–25 May 1962

Typically? Australian, Brisbane City Gallery, Brisbane, 15 May 1998–28 Jun 1998

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

People and destiny: George Lambert and Federation:

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

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