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Australian art

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The shop



George W Lambert

Russia, Australia

1873 - 1930


"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


Place where the work was made

Chelsea London England



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


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

George W Lambert

Artist profile

Works in the collection


Shown in 5 exhibitions

Exhibition history

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

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

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

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'

JS 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

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

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

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'.

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

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

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