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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Peter Lely

The Windsor Beauties, 1864-65, Peter Lely
When it comes to things mass produced, made in factories, we don't today give much thought to the process. We take it for granted that virtually everything, short of handicrafts, is produced in a factory of some sort. Even reproductions of famous works of art hanging on our walls come from factories. And, although it's something of a closely guarded secret, most of the bargain-priced paintings (under-one hundred dollars) that we sometimes see advertised as traveling "starving artists" shows are, in fact, produced in factories in China. They appear at first glance to be quite original, heavy on painterly texture, usually impressionistic/expressionistic in style utilizing bright colors and bearing the signatures of American sounding names. Yet in reality, as many as a dozen, highly specialized, assembly line painters (not artists) have had a hand in their creation. Just add an expensive frame and you have what would appear to the uninitiated to be an expensive work of art for over the couch.
Charles I with James, Duke of York, 1647, Sir Peter Lely
Children Singing, 1650, Peter Lely
If that surprises you, you might also be surprised to know that there's not much new in all that. Several highly popular European artists from the 16th century on had a large retinue of apprentices attached to their ateliers allowing them to do the planning and the "hard parts" of a painting then turn the rest over to carefully supervised talented "assistants." Leonardo da Vinci was once such an apprentice, his style and technique so well developed even as a student as to be easily distinguishable from his master's work. Peter Paul Rubens also ran such a workshop, giving art historians today "fits" trying to ascertain how much of the master's hand was involved in several of his works. However, a Dutch artist named Peter Lely may well have taken such mass production even beyond the bounds ofthe workshops of the "Old Masters" to very nearly modern-day Chinese lengths. When he died in 1680, his executor directed that dozens of unfinished portraits stacked all about his studio be completed by his dozens of apprentices. As might be expected, the quality of such "finishing touches" varied considerably.
Nymphs by a Fountain, 1650, Peter Lely
--what you paint when you're trying to get noticed.
Peter Lely Self-portrait, 1670
Peter Lely was born Pieter van der Faes in Soest, Westphalia (northwestern Germany, not far from the Netherlands border. Born in 1618, Lely studied art in Haarlem, becoming a master of the Haarlem Guild of Saint Luke in 1637 at the age of nineteen. With the death of Anthony van Dyke (another Dutchman) in 1641, Lely moved to London where he began by painting mythological and religious scenes in the Baroque style of van Dyke. However it was his portraits in the van Dyke style which made him a hit with the richly adorned ladies of London. He was fashionable to such an extent Lely had trouble meeting the demand for his work--hence the large workshop and specialization that evolved. Poses were standardized and numbered. Backgrounds were similarly categorized. Various appropriate props were used and reused again and again. Even some of the ladies' high styled dresses often belonged to Lely to be borrowed for portrait purposes, modified only slightly in color and details in the completed painting.
The Concert, 1650, Peter Lely
Repentant Magdalene, ca. 1674Peter Lely
In due time, Lely replaced van Dyke as the royal "Principal Painter," executing several portraits of the exceedingly vain, King Charles I (before he was beheaded, of course) as well as other members of the Royal family. So great was Lely's talent at portraiture he served both the Charles I monarchy as well as Oliver Cromwell and the intermediate Commonwealth, before the restoration of the monarchy under Charles II (son of Charles I). There is such a massive wealth of surviving Lely portraits it's difficult to pull out exceptional efforts (also, because there were so few of them). They were all good portraits, but few could be called much more than that. The best that could be said about Lely and his portrait factory might be that the quality of work  was consistent, if uninspired. Lely apparently ran a tight shop.
Anne Hyde, Duchess of York; King James II, 1660s, Peter Lely
Edward Montague, 2nd. Earl
of Manchester, Peter Lely
Nowhere is this consistency more evident than in the series of portrait commission paid by Anne Hyde, Duchess of York. The ten portraits were of ladies of court (often royal mistresses) and were originally hung in the queen's bedchamber at Windsor Castle. They're now referred to as the Windsor Beauties (top). Painted between 1660 and 1665, who each painting depicts matters little now. The interesting element is in comparing them. The top six or seven appear to be different versions of the same dress while the ones toward the bottom look like similar variations of a blue frock. The poses, while varied somewhat more than the dresses, still lend themselves to a nicely coherent group display. One of the portraits is not by Lely, and the twelfth is of Anne Hyde herself (sixth portrait down from the top). Both have been added to the group in later years. While some of the ladies reflect the term "beauty' more than others, in no case was that the fault of the artist (or his "assistants.")

King Charles II, 1680, Peter Lely--The monarchy restored.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Frederic Lord Leighton

Cimabue's Celebrated Madonna is carried in Procession through the Streets of Florence, 1853-55, Frederic Leighton
And the Sea Gave Up the Dead which were in it,
 1891-92, Frederic Lord Leighton
There's probably no greater example of how tastes in art have changed in the past hundred years or so than in the wide chasm between now and the then of the latter half of the 19th century. It makes little difference which country's art and artist you wish to look back upon in comparison--England, France, Netherlands, German, Spain, the U.S.--you find the same divergence. In England and to a lesser exten in he U.S. it was called Victorian art (after the ruling British monarch of that time). In France it's referred to as Academic or Beaux-Arts style. In Spain we could just call this era Pre-Picasso. So, what caused this fussy, literal, "Realism rules" type of art to fall out of favor around the turn of the century. I could just say "Modern Art," but that's like noting that water puts out fires. There's bound to be more to it than that. We could also name artists responsible for such a break with the past, Whistler, Manet, Monet, Picasso, O'Keeffe, Duchamp, painters so familiar today there's no need to mention their given names. We could also point to technology--photography, the automobile, color lithography, indoor plumbing, central heating, the assembly line, even modern warfare. There, is, of course, no one factor, but to varying (debateable) degrees, all of the above. When people change drastically the way they live, they also tend to change how they think, and their cultural tastes as well.

Mother and Child, 1865, Frederic Lord Leighton--Victorian sentimentality at its height.
Frederic Lord Leighton Self-portrait, 1880
The British painter, Frederic Lord Leighton was, perhaps, the last dying breath of the Victorian era in art. He drew that last dying breath on January 26, 1896. He was sixty-five years old. For eighteen years he had been president of London's Royal Academy of Art, perhaps responsible more than anyone else alive at the time in producing, promoting, and prolonging the Victorian art era in England. Moreover, he was not without considerable influence elsewhere in Europe. He came of age as a painter in the 1850s, during the dying years of the Romantic era as the art world rediscovered Classicism for about the umpteenth time in art history. His work had elements of both, which inevitably combined to form a sort of sentimental classicism tinged at times with obscure religious and mythological references. As a student in Paris, he rubbed elbows with Ingres, Delacroix, Corot, and Millet. Later, in London, he cozied up to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood; and though his work at times bears traces of PRB influence, he was not one of the close-knit group.
Daphnephoria, 1876, Frederic Lord Leighton.
Athlete Struggling with a Python,
1877, Frederic Lord Leighton.
As I noted obliquely above, Leighton was born in 1830 near Scarborough (northeastern coast of England) where his father was in the import-export business. He received a proper British education at University College in London followed by time spent studying in Germany before settling in at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence. It was there he painted his first major work, Cimabue's Celebrated Madonna is carried in Procession through the Streets of Florence (top), dating from around 1853-55. He spent another four years studying and working in Paris. Then, in moving back to London around 1860, Leighton was immediately called upon by Robert Browning to design Elizabeth Barrett Browning's tomb for the English Cemetery, in Florence.

The Hit, 1893, Sir Frederick Leighton.

Quite apart from his painting, Leighton was also adept at sculpture, his Athlete Struggling with a Python (above, right) from 1877 was considered one of the great Victorian masterpieces in its time. Leighton was knighted in 1878 and made a Baron on January 24, 1896. He died the next day, therefore owning the record as the shortest peerage in the history of the British Empire. In tribute to him after his death, his paintings were chosen to represent British art at the 1900 Paris Universal Exhibition. Leighton's home in the Holland Park section of London has been turned into a museum of his work. During his career, Leighton was also an enthusiastic volunteer soldier, commanding a group known as the "Artists Rifles." The American expatriate painter, James McNeill Whistler, in reeling off Sir Frederick's lengthly list of honors, positions, and accomplishments is said to have added at the end: "...aye, and he paints a little."

Two Women on a Sofa, 1875, Frederic Lord Leighton. Virtually all of Leighton's female figures are depicted as indolent and passive.


Friday, November 28, 2014

George W. Bush

George W. Bush Self-portrait
Probably the only former president
to do a self-portrait in the nude.
Although I've certainly no great love for the man, his policies, or his place in history, it's hard for this pensioned off former art teacher to disparage the art of former President George W. Bush. Let me say from the start, as an artist George W. is a brave man. As a former president not exactly beloved by either his own party or the opposition, to put himself out there as an amateur artist, essentially "naked to the world," willing to accept all the ridicule, derision, and laughter of pundits, art critics, and those who know even less about art than he does...that takes guts. Perhaps his two self-portraits bathing reflect a realization of this likelihood certainty, and a self-defensive posture in anticipation of it. I'm not sure that even I, as an experienced artist, would be daring enough to paint a self-portrait in the shower or bathtub.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, George W. Bush
Saddam Hussein, George W. Bush
As an art educator, far be it for me to ridicule the work of any amateur artist. Although George W. seems to have a pretty healthy ego, I'd be the last one to risk discouraging him by making fun of his honest efforts or their outcome. However, I'm not above rendering some honest, constructive criticism as I see fit. My first suggestion would be NOT to paint any more portraits...not for quite sometime anyway. An amateur artist should learn to handle color, composition, brush technique, anatomy, perspective, and a whole list of other skills before even thinking of tackling faces. Now having said that, one or two of Bush's portraits are what I'd call "not half bad." His Tony Blair portrait (above) may be his best. And as for expressively capturing the true nature of his subject's persona, Bush's sad, clown-faced portrait of Saddam Hussein (right) would be quite impressive from any artist. His televised Jay Leno portrait (below) was a humorous image very appropriate for a humorous guy. Beyond those, I have nothing good to say about his portraits so I won't say it.

Bush does Leno.
Bush's work has a number of strengths, especially in terms of his landscapes, of which he should do more, and his handling of his beloved house pets, Barney and his feline friend, Bob (below, who in the world would name a cat "Bob"?) Both areas of content are ideal for those wishing to learn to paint. I should also say that his choice of Bonnie Flood as his art teacher was an excellent one. She has brought him along nicely from his earliest, simplistic "dog portraits" to his efforts today. My only criticism with her efforts is that she may have moved him along too rapidly. She should had insisted upon more time to learn to draw so as not to have to struggle with that aspect as he learned to paint. But how do you tell a former president to "slow down"?

Barney and Bob, by George
President Vladimir Putin by
(former) President George W. Bush.
I could be snide and say that George W. Bush is a better painter than he was president, but I won't. I'll leave that to the historians and political pundits. I'll just say he shows promise and dedication to becoming better. From an amateur painter, who can ask more? Some, who have seen Bush's most recent work would claim he displays neither. It goes without saying that had he not been President he'd be not selling his work at sidewalk art shows. So far as I know, none of his paintings are for sale. He probably doesn't need the money. If I were his art instructor I'd aim him in the direction of still-lifes of the modern west, at contemporary landscapes (the "old" West has been done to death). And if he feels he must paint faces, he should stick to character studies rather than instantly identifiable world leaders. Even though he's no longer president, there's no need to make the current Russian president, Vladimir Putin, angry by making him look like a...oops...I promised not to unduly criticize. Sorry.

A landscape featuring the Bush ranch.
Perhaps, but its convenient.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Alphonse Legros

The Tinker, 1874, Alphonse Legros.
One of the factors we often fail to think much about in contemplating the art world of today is how much the art and science of art instruction have changed over the past couple hundred years (never mind the centuries before that). Roughly two-hundred years ago, the basic, academic framework of art instruction was well-established (some might call it entrenched). Paris was the capital of the art instruction world, with Rome, Amsterdam, and London rivaling for second place. Of course many other smaller cities had their art academies (some of them quite outstanding) including Copenhagen, St. Petersburg, Venice, Florence, Milan, Madrid, etc. Each tended to proclaim their strengths as reflected by the strengths of their instructors, while minimizing deficiencies. Hey, there's nothing new in the area of marketing strategies where art instruction is concerned. Paris' Ecole des Beaux-Arts was, strong in virtually all areas while Amsterdam tended to specialize in landscapes and still-lifes. Rome is where you went to learn to paint history. London' Royal Academy was strong in portraiture.
Cupid and Psyche, 1867, Alphonse Legros, one of his few mythological works.
Alphonse Legros Self-portrait, 1898.
It was behind the classroom doors where the greatest difference between now and then have developed. Two hundred years ago, the emphasis was on teaching the technical aspects of drawing and painting--highly disciplined, highly supervised instruction, instructors bent on turning out carbon copies of themselves as if art were a static world where change was to be looked upon skeptically, indeed, often with fear. Today, in art schools around the world, there is little of that. Newness, novelty, and negativity prevail. Weird is wonderful. Art is seen as ineffectual if it doesn't make the viewer uncomfortable. Two hundred years ago, there was little taught in the way of art philosophy. Today, even in a painting class, the emphasis is on teaching about art much more than the rules and regulations as to creating it. One of the major forces in moving art instruction from "then" on the road to "now" was the French painter and etcher, Alphonse Legros.
Canal with Fisherman, 1865, Alphonse Legos--pretty, but not much happening.
A bronze medal designed by Legros
bearing the profile of Charles Darwin
If you simply start looking at Legros' modest number of paintings, you will not be impressed. His painted portraits are few and far between, his landscapes tend to have an "empty" feeling, and his religious works are about as exciting as a geriatric Sunday School class. His best work came almost by accident as Legros learned the art and craft of etching and engraving by simply watching a friend and fellow artist practice his trade. Though we tend not to think much about etchings today, they were a strong, lucrative enterprise two-hundred years ago as an inexpensive means of providing outstanding art to the growing middle classes of the day. Legros did hundreds, of them, mostly portraits or "head studies" that were what we'd call "top of the line" for his time. Today, of course, this entire line of work has been replaced by photography and various forms of print media, both of which are in line to be replaced by digital reproduction.
Rehearsing the Service, 1870, Alphones Legrose
Ex Voto, 1861, Alphonse Legros
Alphonse Legros was born in 1837 near Dijon (eastern France southeast of Paris). His father was an accountant. He grew up in rural, agricultural environment, which later came to be reflected in many of his early paintings. His The Tinker (top), from 1874, is typical of his limited number of genre paintings. Most of his other paintings are what we might call "religious genre" centering upon devout Catholics and church officials solemnly doing their duty to God and church (above). His Ex Voto (right) from 1861 exemplifies this content compartment of his work.

The Triumph of Death, Alphonse Legros
Bust of Rodin, 1850s, Alphonse Legros
In 1851, Legros left home for Paris to study art. On the way, he apprenticed himself to various second-rate artists he met, absorbing scene painting, church wall painting, and etching. In Paris he first studied at the Lecoq de Boisbaudran (the "Petite école") before starting night classes at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. During the 1850s Legros had some success with portraits entered in the Salon, but like so many "starving" artists in Paris at the time, he was very much a "small fish in a BIG pond." Though his Realist friends liked them, his church scenes were not much noticed by the academic establishment of the time. Although he met there Auguste Rodin and fell in with the Courbet-loving Realist rocking the Paris art scene at the time, in 1863 he moved to London where he found a wife, took a position teaching at the South Kensington School of Art, and later at the University College in London. It was in England, that Legros began to have an impact in the staid old art of teaching art.

The Blessing of the Sea, Alphonse Legros
The Honorable Penitent, Alphonse Legros
It was during his seventeen years at University College (until his retirement in 1892) that Legros began to exerted his influence as he worked to encourage a certain distinctions, severity, and truth of character in the work of his pupils. Experimentation was highly valued, even when it failed. New techniques were mastered by students and teacher alike. He devoted part of his salary to help support deserving students in their studied abroad. While not jettisoning respect for the traditions of the old masters, he began teaching a simple technique which was then somewhat foreign to English art. He would draw or paint a torso or a head before his class in an hour or even less, keeping in mind the attention span of his students. Until that time, students had been known to take weeks or months laboring over a single drawing. To combat this, Legros changed the positions of the plaster casts in the Antique School once a week. In the painting school he insisted upon a good outline, preserved by a thin rub in of umber. That done, the work was to be finished in a single painting session. As I've often noted in teaching art, some students give perfection a bad name. Legros was one of the first to proclaim that student emphasis should not be so much upon producing art, but on learning to produce art.
The Dead Christ, Alphonse Legros

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Woody Allen

Heywood Allen
Allen plays a robot on the lam.
I'm not sure what year it was, but the first Woody Allen movie I ever saw was Sleeper (right) which came out in 1973 so it was probably not long after that. I liked it. What's not to like about a movie with an "orgasmatron." (Yes, it's exactly what it sound like.) On the whole, though I'm not that great a Woody Allen movie fan though I have a great respect for him as a moviemaker. Of his nearly fifty films, I don't think I've seen more than three or four. I think I've seen Casino Royale, Bananas, and maybe one or two more (Manhattan, perhaps). I think one reason most of his films have never appealed to me is that, while they are everywhere from hilarious to merely amusing, I think they appeal more to women than men, and in any case are a little too neurotic for my tastes. My respect for his talent, however has few bounds. The man has proven again and again that he can do (and do well) just about every creative aspect of the motion pictures as an art form. He can write (perhaps his strongest suit), act, direct, provide the music, produce, and no doubt even edit all that when the need arises. He's a "one-man band" on a level with Kubrick, Wells, Spielberg, Cameron and a very few others.

A Banana Republic gone "Bananas."
Woody as "Jimmy" Bond
The problem with writing about Allen is that, with the exception of Annie Hall, virtually any of the man's movies are films most directors would be proud to claim as their best work. That is to say all of them are good, but few stand apart from the rest or deserve the designation as "great" movies. Allen wrote the script for his first film, What's New Pussycat, in which he also played a roll, back in 1965, almost fifty years ago. He didn't much like the results, which caused him to vow to direct himself everything he wrote from then on. The following year he directed his first film, What's Up Tiger Lily, a Japanese spy comedy, then played none other than James (Jimmy) Bond himself in Casino Royale, a spoof of the entire international spy genre based very, VERY loosely on the Ian Fleming novel. He didn't write or direct it, but he had a lot of fun with it in any case (who wouldn't playing opposite David Niven, Peter Sellers, and Ursula Andress).

The 1969 movie based upon
Allen's 1966 play.
Allen was born Allan Stewart Konigsberg in 1935. His mother was a bookkeeper, his father a jewelry engraver and waiter. Allen grew up in Brooklyn in a fairly dysfunctional family speaking Yiddish, Hebrew, and German. He changed his name to Heywood Allen and left home at the age of seventeen. He had a tendency to flunk out of colleges and was thus mostly self-taught. His natural talent and weird, dry sense of humor got him a job at $25 a week writing for comedian Herb Shriner. Soon he was also doing scripts for Ed Sullivan, the Tonight Show, and Sid Caesar, earning $1,500 per week, more than both his parents combined. Around 1961, using his own material, Allen tried his hand at stand-up comedy himself, working out of clubs in Greenwich Village. Several comedy albums followed, as well as guest shots on Candid Camera. He wrote short stories, cartoon captions for New Yorker magazine, a book, From A to Z, and plays. The book became a Broadway musical starring Hermione Gingold. His second Broadway effort, Don't Drink the Water, he wrote himself. It ran for 598 performances. By the end of the 1960s, when he first came to my attention, he was writing for both stage and screen, while also finding his niche as a comic actor.

Allen is haunted by the ghost of Bogart.
Mia Farrow, as Alice, one of
twelve films made with Allen.
Allen's career in the movie industry can, with some limitations, be charted by his leading ladies, starting with his marriage at the age of nineteen to sixteen-year-old Harlene Rosen, which lasted five years. She later sued him for a million dollars for using her as the butt of his stand up comedy jokes. His second marriage in 1966, to actress, Louise Lasser, (who appeared in three of his films) lasted just three years. Although they were never married, Allen and his Annie Hall star, Diane Keaton, were often linked romantically. Starting with Play it Again, Sam in 1970, they made seven films together, the last being Manhattan in 1993. Then, around 1980, came Mia Farrow. They too were never married but she appeared in twelve of Allen's thirteen films over the next nine years (1983-92). Today, despite something of an overblown scandal, Allen is married to Mia's adopted daughter (with Andre Previn), Soon-Yi Previn. That marriage has lasted seventeen years. Soon-Yi has appeared in none of Allen's films, which might account for their longevity together.

Diane Keaton (in her Annie Hall fashion statement) along with Allen, 1977.
Annie Hall, despite the title, was a
portrait of Allen.
In a few more days, Woody Allen will be seventy-nine years old. That means he's been writing, directing, producing, and acting in motion pictures for around fifty years. Annie Hall brought him two Oscars, Best Screenplay and Best Director, ratified by identical awards by the British (BAFTA). The film also brought home gold statuettes for Best Picture of 1977 and one for Diane Keaton as Best Actress. Altogether, Allen has crafted roles leading to fourteen Oscar nominations for his other female stars while being nominated seventeen times himself. He's been nominated for thirteen Gold Globe awards, winning twice for his screenplays, The Purple Rose of Cairo and Midnight in Paris. On top of that, he's a damned good jazz clarinet player. In fact he took his name from the famed clarinetist, Woody Herman.

There is an autobiographical element to many of Allen's films.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Henry Lamb

Death of a Peasant, 1911, Henry Lamb

Henry Taylor Lamb Self-portrait, 1914
Artists have always had a tendency to search for beauty. They also like to tell a story, not so much in paint today, but through film and video. In search of beauty, artists have long dwelt on stories and themes such as love, honor, duty, physical beauty, even eroticism. The last place one might go in search of beauty is to war. War, by its very nature, is ugly. It's destructive. It's wasteful. It's the very embodiment of hatred. But as recently as Vietnam, art and war were called together by the military in seeking a lasting tribute to duty, honor, and memorialized tribute to those who died. There are those who would claim quite rightly that art and war are diametrically opposed. Indeed, when war came to Europe in the 1940s art suffered tremendously, some of the greatest art treasures from the past having yet to be recovered. All of the past conflicts between art and war must have weighed heavily on the British painter, Henry Taylor Lamb as his government called upon him to, in essence, paint two war.
The Artist's Wife, 1933, Henry Lamb. He often painted his portrait subjects reading, perhaps to keep their minds occupied during the long hours of posing.
Breton Boy, 1911, Henry Lamb.
The painting, for which this was a
preparatory drawing, recently brought
sixty-thousand pounds at auction.
Henry Lamb was born in Adelaide, Australia, the son of the mathematics professor, Sir Horace Lamb who was teaching at Adelaide University at the time (1883). When offered a position at Victoria University in Manchester two years later, the elder Lamb moved his family to England. There young Henry grew up and trained first at Manchester University to be a doctor, but his heart wasn't in it. He wanted to be an artist. He transferred to the Académie de La Palette in Paris where he studied until about 1908. Following graduation, the young artist spent three years working in Brittany where he painted his first major work, and perhaps his best, Death of a Peasant (top) from 1911. The work is striking because it incorporates the mind of an artist with the pathos of a doctor, one who has not yet grown immune to the inevitability of death.
Advanced Dressing Station at the Struma, 1916, Henry Lamb.
Notice the doctor literally works in a trench.
Felicia, 1947, Henry Lamb, (his daughter).
With the coming of WW I, England needed doctors on the front lines. Lamb returned to his medical studies and became on. He served with the Royal Army Medical Corps as a battalion medical officer with the 5th Battalion, The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and was awarded the Military Cross. Serving in the British protectorate of Palestine as well as on the Western Front, Lamb was badly gassed toward the end of the war. He was demobilized in 1919 and took up painting again as he recovered from what was probably German mustard gas (the most common gas used during the war).

Military Exercises, Devonshire, ca. 1941, Henry Lamb

Neville Chamberlain, 1939,
Henry Lamb.
In 1928, Lamb married Lady Pansy Pakenham, a British novelist and daughter of the 5th Earl of Longford. They had three children, a son and two daughters. When the next war came along around 1940, Lamb was fifty-three years old and still suffering the long-term effects of having been gassed. He was no longer suitable as a doctor on the front lines. By then he was a much sought after portrait artist as seen in his impressive portrait of then Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain (right). Lamb was appointed a full-time war artist by the War Artists' Advisory Committee for whom he painted numerous portraits of high ranking officers. Lamb also painted ordinary servicemen and women, many of them Canadian, while stationed at the Old Sarum aerodrome. There he also painted tank training exercises.

 The Command Post, 1942, Henry Lamb
Boy with Toy, 1944, Henry Lamb.
After fulfilling his duties in a second world war, Lamb was elected a member of the Royal Academy in 1949, and during the remainder of his life until his death in 1960, served on various museum boards of trustees while continuing to paint portraits of war heroes, friends, and family. Lamb is said to have been a very gentle man. This trait is evident in both his service to his country during two wars and in the faces and figures of those he painted. It's unlikely he ever managed to come to terms with the disparities of art and war. That may well be an impossibility. But his love of humanity very often shines through his works, even those involving the inhumanity of mankind's greatest tragedy of the spirit.

Boy Reading, 1956, Henry Lamb.
Is this the same boy as above?