DETAIL : George LAMBERT  Russia 1873 � Australia 1930  'Chesham Street' [Chesney Street; The Doctor; Harley Street] 1910  oil on canvas National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased in 1993 DETAIL : George LAMBERT  Russia 1873 � Australia 1930  'The convex mirror' c.1916  oil with pencil on wood panel private collection
George LAMBERT | On the black soil plains

Russia 1873 – Australia 1930
Australia 1887-1900; England 1900-01; France 1901-02; England 1902-21; Australia from 1921
On the black soil plains c.1899
oil on canvas
29.0 (h) x 34.5 (w) cm
Dubbo Regional Art Gallery, New South Wales, purchased in 2003
VIEW: Article |

On the black soil plains presents a dramatic sky, with billowy white cumulus clouds taking up more than three-quarters of the picture. It shows an expanse of flat land, with the heat of the day indicated by the haze rising from the horizon on the left. Lambert animated the picture by depicting a flock of sheep grazing in the foreground, half indistinguishable from the dry ground, and by sketching in a team of horses with a wool wagon crossing the plain on the distant horizon. He appears to have painted it quickly and with thin paint so that the texture of the canvas is visible in some areas of the image.

Lambert probably painted this work in the Warren district in central-west New South Wales, either at Eurobla, the sheep station of his great-uncle Robert Firth, or at Meryon, the home of his second cousin Amy and her husband, Joseph Nield. Lambert is said to have presented this workto Robert Firth, which would suggest that he painted it at his uncle’s property, Eurobla. On the other hand, he said he made colour notes for the landscape in his large-scale paintingAcross the black soil plains while staying at his cousin’s property, Meryon. He visited both these properties in the early 1890s, and may have done so again around 1898. Certainly, the competence of the handling of paint and composition suggests that he painted this work around 1898, as a study for Across the black soil plains .

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