This is a self portrait by the Australian artist George Washington Lambert (1873-1930). I have mentioned him before especially in the context of Australian artist Thea Proctor with whom he had an intense relationship. Sexual? One doesn't know, although it's often implied.Certainly he is a sensual looking chap.
Today is Remembrance Day. In this context, Lambert was also an Australian war artist from the First World War.
I have ambivalent feelings about George Lambert, partly because of his art, there was bad as well as good, more because of a feeling (perhaps unjustified) that he overshadowed Thea Proctor, preventing her achieving her full potential.
Things run in families. It seems hard for us to escape our pasts. Interests and sometimes abilities and indeed weaknesses recur down the generations.This may not be comfortable for those of us sitting on our perch in the family tree, unable to escape our own pasts, but it does appear to have a sad inevitability to it whether we like it or not.
Constant Lambert (and here), George's son. The cigarette has been replaced by a cigar. Constant Lambert was a gifted musician and writer, a man of charm but great inconstancy who occupies a distinct place on British cultural history.
Constant was 45 when he died, two days before his 46th birthday.. His father had died at 56. Constant's son, Kit Lambert, British record producer, record label owner and the manager of The Who, also died at 46 and was buried in the same grave as his father.
Maurice Lambert, Constant's brother, also died quite young. In his case 63. Like his father and brother,
One of the things that I don't properly understand is why the boys ended in London. The Wikipedia entry on Constant says that he never visited Australia, although he was always conscious of the Australian connection.
Lambert's wife Amy was Australian. They married in 1901. Both boys were born in England. When Lambert returned to Australia in 1920, Maurice would have been 19, Constant 15. They were already entrenched in London.
It is not clear to me from the biographical material that Amy came back to Australia with George. Certainly she was in London when he died. Perhaps she just wanted to be close to her boys.
The artistic thread that followed down through three Lambert generations could not have been easy. We benefit from their work, while the colour in their lives adds interest. Yet there is also a price to be paid
Growing up, I was attracted by the concept of the artist in the garret. It seemed kind of romantic. Certainly I wasn't put off by minor things like the cold! Now, older, I wonder a bit. There is a lot to be said for comfort and at least a degree of stability.