Henry Taylor Lamb MC RA (Adelaide 21 June 1883 – 8 October 1960 Salisbury) was an Australian-born British painter. A follower of Augustus John, Lamb was a founder member of the Camden Town Group in 1911 and of the London Group in 1913.
Henry Lamb was born in Adelaide, Australia, the son of Sir Horace Lamb FRS. He was educated at Manchester Grammar School, Manchester University Medical School and Guy's Hospital in London, and studied painting at Académie de La Palette, Paris, an art academy where the painters Jean Metzinger, André Dunoyer de Segonzac and Henri Le Fauconnier taught.
World War One
Lamb saw active service in the First World War in the Royal Army Medical Corps as an battalion medical officier with the 5th Battalion, The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and was awarded the Military Cross. Lamb served in Palestine and on the Western Front and was badly gassed not long before the end of the war. After he was demobilised in March 1919, Lamb begin work on the large painting Irish Troops in the Judaean Hills Surprised by a Turkish Bombardment, which is now in the Imperial War Museum.
World War Two
In December 1940, Lamb was appointed a full-time war artist to the War Office by the War Artists' Advisory Committee and throughout the war was to produce a large number of portraits and figure paintings. As well as portraits of high-ranking commanders, Lamb painted servicemen and women, operations at Old Sarum aerodrome and tank training exercises. Throughout the winter of 1941, he was attached to the 12th Canadian Army Tank Battalion, then training in southern England, before doing a series of Auxiliary Territorial Service and Anti-Aircraft Command personnel portraits. The Imperial War Museum held an exhibition of Lambs wartime work in 1958, and again in 1961.
Lamb is noted for his unusual portraits, as exemplified by his well-known picture of an elongated Lytton Strachey. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1940 and was made a full Member in 1949. He was a Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery from 1942 and of the Tate Gallery from 1944 to 1951. His auction record was set at Christie's in London in June 2006 when his 1910 Breton Boy oil on panel fetched £60,000. As well as the Imperial War Museum, works by Lamb are held in regional museums throughout Britain, in the British Government Art Collection and in the National Gallery of Canada, which received the majority of Lambs portraits of Canadian troops at the end of World War Two.
He married Lady Pansy Pakenham, a daughter of the 5th Earl of Longford, in 1928, and they had a son and two daughters. Lamb died on 8 October 1960 at the Spire Nursing Home in Salisbury, Wiltshire at the age of 77.
- 1932 painting of Diana Mitford by Lamb, used as her cover illustration in the 1985 book, Loved Ones.
- Tate (Francis Spalding). "Artist biography Henry Lamb". Tate. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- Art from the First World War. Imperial War Museum. 2008. ISBN 978-1-904897-98-9.
- Brain Foss (2007). War paint: Art, War, State and Identity in Britain, 1939-1945. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-10890-3.
- Imperial War Museum. "War artists archive Henry Lamb". Imperial War Museum. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
- Tate (2004). "Display caption,Lytton Strachey by Henry Lamb". Tate. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- Christie's 20th Century British Art
- BBC/ Public Catalogue Foundation. "Your Paintings:Henry Lamb". Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- Clements, Keith (1985) Henry Lamb: the Artist and his Friends
- Stanford Family Ghosts
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