This drawing is a preliminary idea for an illustration for the Sydney Bulletin of 11 January 1896, in which Lambert depicted this woman with an umbrella walking down a road with a shorter man. A second couple stand behind them, observing that ‘he married beneath him’.
This is a highly accomplished drawing, in which Lambert sketched in the figure with rapid, expressive lines. The subtlety of his signature, assimilated into the lines of the coat, shows his maturity as a draughtsman.
This is just one of a large number of drawings which Lambert produced for the Bulletin –
at least one almost every week from 1 June 1895 until 6 September 1900. He continued to be an irregular contributor after that. As in this work, his drawings concentrate on people, their character and expression, with little background detail. He used joke texts and poems supplied by the editorial desk rather than inventing his own comic ideas, working in partnership with the writers and making drawings which visualised their words. To this extent, Lambert’s drawings do not express his personal beliefs or thoughts but reflect the ideas of the writers. In this he differed from other Bulletin cartoonists like Livingston Hopkins (‘Hop’) and Will Dyson, who invented their own comic ideas.
TheBulletin was founded by the journalists J.F. Archibald and John Haynes in Sydney in 1880, and rapidly became known as ‘the bushman’s bible’. It provided a regular outlet for the work of artists and writers, and among its contributors were Breaker Morant (see cat.5), Henry Lawson (see cat.121) and Banjo Paterson (see cat.65).