Henry Lamb RA

Henry Lamb RA ‘Portrait of Lady in a Hat’

Pencil on paper
h48 x w36cm

Henry Lamb RA (1883 – 1960)  was born in Adelaide, Australia in 1883 shortly before his father moved the family to Manchester having taken a post in the Mathematics department of Manchester University. He grew up in Manchester as one of seven children to Professor Horace Lamb and his wife, Mary. He first studied medicine before abandoning his studies to be an artist. Aged twenty two he left for London to study under Augustus John and William Orpen at their short-lived Chelsea Art School. John was particularly formative in those early years and it was with John that Lamb moved to Paris a few years later. Once back in London Lamb joined the Fitzroy group and was a founding member of both The Camden Town Group and The London Group. The eminent critic and biographer Lytton Strachey was a good friend and between 1912 and 1914 sat for a portrait that would become one of Lamb’s greatest works. It now resides in the Tate and was described by Sir John Rothenstein as “one of the best portraits painted in England in this century”. With the outbreak of the first world war Lamb returned to his study of medicine and served as a doctor in the Royal Army Medical Corps in France, Salonika and Palestine where he was awarded the Military Cross. He was not an official war artist but was always sketching and drawing in spare moments. In 1928 he married Lady Pansy Pakenham and moved to the quiet Wiltshire village of Coombe Bissett where they would remain for the rest of their lives. Lamb was appointed an official war artist for the second world war. At the same time as his appointment as a war artist Lamb was elected as an associate of the Royal Academy and a Trustee of both the National Portrait Gallery and the Tate. He was finally awarded full membership of the Royal Academy in 1949.

Admired for his draughtsmanship, Lamb is well established on the secondary market where comparable works can price between £1,500 – 2,000 upwards. The present example is a larger than average sheet.  

£1,650

1 in stock

Biography | Media | Exhibitions | Artworks

Henry Lamb RA

[ 1883
- 1960 ]
Abandoning his medical studies to become an artist, in 1905 Lamb moved to London where he studied under Augustus John and William Orpen at their short-lived Chelsea Art School. A highly gifted draughtsman he soon moved to Paris, and painted in Brittany. On his return to London he made his name with an extraordinary full-life sized portrait of Lytton Strachey (now in the Tate).

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