In this drawing Lambert depicted a moment from everyday life in his Randwick studio. The figures are Amy Lambert, carrying a cup of tea, with Lambert’s two studio assistants: Mr Gordon seated with his head resting on his hand in the centre and the tall, long-limbed Mr (Sten) Snekker wearing the uniform of a Light Horseman standing on the right. (Lambert always addressed his assistants as ‘Mr’.)
In the early 1900s Lambert had painted portrait groups of women and children, including his wife as one of the models. This drawing is a dramatic contrast to those paintings in its depiction of people in everyday dress, and in its representation of Amy. In his earlier images Lambert showed Amy as an attractive woman. Here, she has become, as the Sydney Morning Heraldreviewer wrote on 29 November 1927, ‘a kindly matron’. At this time she would have been only fifty-five but, with her unflattering hairstyle and blowsy pinafore, she looks a little older.
In arranging the poses of the two assistants, Lambert may have been playing with the composition for the Henry Lawson sculpture, as Mr Gordon is seated in a variation of the pose of the swagman in the group and Mr Snekker is standing in a similar pose to that of Lawson (see cat.121).
Lambert included this drawing, along with Tulips and other stimulants (cat.110) in the modernist exhibition ‘A group of contemporary painters’ in 1927.