Lambert and Charles Bean
Tuesday 7 November 2006 by Janda Gooding. No comments
George Lambert: Gallipoli and Palestine Landscapes
Charles Bean had great respect for George Lambert. In his book Gallipoli Mission (1948) Bean described Lambert as 'picturesque', a great mimic and storyteller. For Bean, Lambert "with the golden beard, the hat, the cloak, the spurs, the gait, the laugh and the conviviality of a cavalier" was a great Australian. But equally, Bean respected Lambert's dedication to his work and the way he approached his commissions as an official war artist. In his obituary of Lambert published in The Reveille 1930 Bean said "nothing pleased him more than to receive something approximating to an 'operation order,' and to carry it out, and come back at dusk formally to report what he had done." Asked to deliver a minimum of 25 sketches during his first commission in Palestine in 1918, Lambert produced over 150.
In 1924 Lambert painted a portrait of Charles Bean. It is clear from correspondence between the two men and this sympathetic portrait, that Lambert admired Bean. The two men had discussed the terms of Lambert's 1918 commission to Palestine over dinner at the Chelsea Arts Club in London and it was Bean who had personally insisted that Lambert be appointed to go on the Gallipoli Mission. Likewise Lambert called Bean 'skipper', 'the old Bean' and said "Bean is very interesting,... but he is not scientific, how can a man be scientific & go through these last few years?"