Oil on Canvas
51 x 61 cm
in ‘Still Life of Apples’ from 1929; dark red shadows travel from the apples to the basket to the teapot, at points brighter than the highlight tones, almost resembling a solarised photograph. This use of colour is characteristic of the vanguard of post-impressionist painting in Edwardian England. Henry Lamb was grounded in this tradition of painting and he kept this approach to colour throughout his life. His handling of the apples bears some resemblance to Cézanne; as a young artist he hadn’t shared the adulation of Cézanne felt by others in the Bloomsbury group, but at around the same time of this painting Evelyn Waugh recalled Lamb ‘delivering illuminating discourses on Cézanne’.
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).