In 1924 a slim book on Henry Lamb was published of which the artist himself said: 'a book of reproductions which seems to me a very premature affair'. Now, 60 years later, the story of his life and an assessment of his work are long overdue.
The man and the artist have been rediscovered from a wealth of unpublished material and extensive interviews with Family, Friends and collectors. It is a remarkably frank and intimate portrait of a very private person and is a critical biography which fills a significant and considerable gap in the life and letters of the peirod.
This enigmatic figure, who figures in the biographies, memoirs and letters of many of his contemporaries, including Lytton Strachey, Virginia Woolf, Lady Ottoline Morrell, Gilbert Spencer, Carrington, Nicolette Devas, Lady Diana Mosley and Anthony Powell, has finally been spotlighted. Henry Lamb's obstinate streak of independence, coupled with his wary reluctance to become involved with 'groups' and institutions, has been the root cause of this neglect. His individualistic development defies easy classification. In his early years, he flirted with and skirted round the
Slade School, NEAC, Fitzrovia, Camden Town, Bloomsbury; he led a romantically bohemian existence in pre-1914 Chelsea and Paris, briefly becoming an acolyte
of Augustus John; his First World War experiences in Salonica, Palestine and Northern France inspired two masterly war compositions.
Personal relationships were central to Henry Lamb's life and the author charts the significance of these in relation to his art. By turns fractious and harmonious, we see his many personal battles and triumphs.