100 Highlights from the Cbus Collection of Australian Art
27 July 2022


(1873 - 1930)

oil on wood panel

34.0 x 42.0 cm

signed and dated lower right: G W LAMBERT / (1926)
signed and inscribed with title verso: “The Dead Tree”/ (sketch) / Painted at Dame Nellies / Place – Combe [sic.] – Coldstream / G W Lambert

$15,000 – $20,000
Sold for $31,909 (inc. BP) in Auction 70 - 27 July 2022, Melbourne

Amy Lambert, London
John Brackenreg, Sydney
Harold Desbrowe Annear (inscribed verso)
Artlovers Gallery, New South Wales (label attached verso)
Private collection
Leonard Joel, Melbourne, 31 July 1990, lot 258
Joseph Brown Gallery, Melbourne 
The Cbus Collection of Australian Art, Melbourne, acquired from the above on 17 September 1990


A Group of Contemporary Painters, Grosvenor Galleries, Sydney, November 1928
The Exhibition of the Royal Academy, 1931. The 163rd, Royal Academy, London, 1931, cat. 721
Commemorative exhibition of works by late members, Winter Exhibition, Royal Academy, London, 7 January – 11 March 1933, cat. 259
Artlovers Gallery, Sydney, January 1959, cat. 7 (as ‘Landscape: The Fallen Tree’)
Overland, Latrobe Regional Gallery, Victoria, 10 March – 15 July 2013
Dawn to Dusk: Landscapes from the Cbus Collection of Australian Art, Latrobe Regional Gallery, Victoria, 31 May – 16 November 2014
on long term loan to Geelong Art Gallery, Victoria


‘Art Exhibitions: Contemporary Painters’, Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, 29 November 1928, p. 15 
Gray, A., George Lambert 1873–1930: Catalogue Raisonné: Paintings and Sculpture, Drawings in Public Collections, Bonamy Press, Perth, Sotheby's Australia and Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1996, cat. P426, p. 122
Nainby, B., Stanhope, Z., and Furlonger, K., The Cbus Collection of Australian Art, in association with Latrobe Regional Gallery, Melbourne, 2009, pp. 16, 52 (illus.), 223

Catalogue text

Having spent his teenage years in Australia, George Washington Lambert returned to Europe with family in 1900, aged twenty-seven. Following two years studying in Paris, 1901 – 1902, where he developed a close friendship with fellow expatriate artist Hugh Ramsay, Lambert moved to London where he lived and worked for almost two decades. From the family’s Chelsea residence, celebrity guests including the eminent soprano, Nellie Melba, and actress, Ellen Terry, were regularly entertained. After returning to Australia in November 1921, Nellie Melba invited Lambert ‘to her delightful country place’, Coombe Cottage at Coldstream, near Lilydale, Victoria where he found that ‘she was really too nice for words, robbing me of any thought of her being a hussy or a vicious spoiling. She wants me to do small jobs for her – a drawing & a painting. She really is nice to me and understanding’.1 He visited Melba again in 1926, and completed several small landscapes, including The dead tree, Coldstream, 1926.

1. Gray, A., George W. Lambert Retrospective: Heroes & Icons, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2007, p. 27