Henry Lamb


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, who was the professor of mathematics at Adelaide University. When Horace Lamb was appointed to the Chair of Mathematics at the Victoria University of Manchester in 1885 the family moved back to England. Henry Lamb was educated at Manchester Grammar School, before studying medicine at Manchester University Medical School and Guy's Hospital in London, but Lamb abandoned medicine in 1906 to study painting at the Chelsea School of Art, then run by William Orpen and Augustus John. In 1907, Lamb studied at the Académie de La Palette in Paris, an art academy where the painters Jean Metzinger, André Dunoyer de Segonzac and Henri Le Fauconnier taught. Lamb met his future wife Nina Forrest in 1905 during the final term of his medical studies in Manchester and they ran away to London together that summer. He nicknamed her "Euphemia" because of an apparent resemblance to Mantegna's portrait of Saint Euphemia. They were married in May 1906 when she became pregnant but she lost the baby due to a miscarriage. The relationship was short-lived, but they did not divorce until 1927 shortly before Henry married Pansy Pakenham. In 1908, 1910 and 1911 Lamb worked in Brittany, where he painted his most famous work, Death of a Peasant.