Henry Lamb: Works from 1914-1921
Artist(s): Henry Lamb
Author(s): Primrose Campbell, Felicia Palmer, David Taylor, Polly Pentreath
Edition: First Edition
Publisher Location: London
Total Pages: 52
Illustrations: Profusely illustrated
Paperback. First edition. Lavishly illustrated catalogue to accompany a show of Lamb’s moving war work. ‘The exhibition will go some way to telling the story of Lamb’s multifaceted experiences of war and how this nervous, sensitive, physically fragile artist come to be a front-line doctor in three different World War I campaigns – Salonika, Palestine and France. In the nine years before 1914, he had been a footloose experimental painter, frequenting Chelsea and the world of Augustus John, Paris, Brittany and Donegal. He was on the fringe of the Bloomsbury Group, friendly with Sickert at the start of the Camden Town Group, but essentially a cat who walked by himself and avoided organisations and classification.
It is hard with our knowledge of the full horror of what was to come in the following years, to peer through at the opening years of World War I. These drawings offer something of an insight into these moments. Lamb himself left at the beginning of November 1915 to return to Guy’s Hospital to complete his studies as a doctor. Kennedy had already left Fécamp in the summer and Lamb had ‘become horribly bored’ without his company. But mainly it was becoming clear that the War was not going to end soon and Lamb wanted to be more involved.
Along with these painfully insightful portraits and studies of Fecamp there are drawings from his time in Salonika which are quick sketches and studies of the landscape, remarkably different to his intense portraits from Fécamp in the previous year. These would appear later in more structured forms as the basis for a body of works recalling and recording the War from this far flung part of the front.
Condition: some light shelf-wear, otherwise very good.