"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
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-".
Not on display
Shown in 5 exhibitions
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:
- Dubbo Regional Art Gallery, Dubbo 05 May 2001–12 Aug 2001
- New England Regional Art Museum, Armidale 14 Sep 2001–28 Oct 2001
- Albury Regional Gallery, Albury 04 Jan 2002–27 Jan 2002
- Bendigo Art Gallery, Victoria 09 Feb 2002–24 Mar 2002
- Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre 06 Apr 2002–02 Jun 2002
- Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, Bathurst 05 Jul 2002–18 Aug 2002
George Lambert retrospective: heroes & icons, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 29 Jun 2007–16 Sep 2007
Referenced in 15 publications
Julian Ashton, The Art of George W Lambert, Sydney, 1924, (colour illus.). plate no. 89; no owner given
Heather Crosby, Weekend Liberal, 'Keeping the dream alive', pg. 10, Dubbo, 26 May 2001-27 May 2001, 10 (illus., detail).
Ann Galbally, The Edwardians: secrets and desires, 'Reflected selves', pg. 106-121, Canberra, 2004, 114 (colour illus.). figure no. 106
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'
Jimmy MacDonald, The art and life of George W. Lambert, Melbourne, 1920, 9.
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, Canberra, Sep 2000, 21 (illus.). review of 'Australian icons' exhibition
Terry Smith, Australian cultural history, 'Populism and Privilege in Australian Painting', pg. 190-210, Cambridge, 1988, 194-95, 203 (illus.). plate no. 3
Age, Melbourne, 21 Jul 1923, 15.
Unknown (Editor), Sun, Sydney, 21 Jul 1923, 2.
The Herald, Melbourne, 18 Jul 1923, 6.
Michael Stutchbury (Editor), The Weekend Australian, 'Painter mastered the past', pg. 21, Sydney, 20 Apr 2002-21 Apr 2002, 21 (illus.). Review of exhibition 'People and Destiny: George Lambert and Federation'.
Anne Gray (Editor), Art and Artifice: George Lambert (1873-1930), 1996, 50.
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
Anne Gray, George Lambert (1873-1930) catalogue raisonné: paintings and sculpture, drawings in public collections, Perth, 1996, 28. cat.no. P100