Collection Online

A sergeant of the Light Horse
1920

Medium
oil on canvas
Measurements
77.0 × 62.0 cm
Place/s of Execution
Kensington, London, England
Accession Number
1182-3
Department
Australian Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1921
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Vizard Foundation
Gallery location
Gallery 17
Level 3, NGV Australia
About

George Lambert met the model for this work, Harry Ivers, in Damascus in 1919, and the artist subsequently employed him as an assistant in London until February 1920. The sitter was a sergeant with the 1st Signal Squadron, employed as a map maker for the War Records Section in Palestine. Ivers certainly fulfilled the official image of the Australian Light Horsemen – physically lean and humble, yet proud and capable – that has become part of the enduring mythology of the First World War.

Colourmen

Colourman
CHENIL
Location
Lower centre of reverse of canvas
Transcription
CHENIL/BY THE/TOWNHALL/CHELSEA within a palette form
Medium
Ink stencil
More information
National Portrait Gallery

Frame

George W. LAMBERT
A sergeant of the Light Horse 1920
Framemaker
Patrickson
Chelsea S.W.3
London
Date
1920
Materials

The frame moulding is machined from a single piece of timber, mitred, nailed and re-enforced with splines at the corners. The surface is uniform matte oil gilding, with false gold leaf.

Condition

The splines have been broken and the corners re-glued. There are scattered abrasions and dents to the surface. The frame was cleaned and restored in 2000.1

Dimensions
90.5 x 75.5 x 4.0 cm; sight 74.8 x 59.6 cm
More information
National Portrait Gallery
George W. LAMBERT
A sergeant of the Light Horse 1920 George W. LAMBERT
A sergeant of the Light Horse 1920 (colourman)
About

The basic form of this frame is most likely a wooden profile, available through trade catalogues as a base ready to take runs of composition ornament. What is notable is the choice of the form and finish to frame this portrait of the definitive Australian soldier. The simplicity of the form and the minimal treatment of the surface fit well with notions of the understated hero.

Notes

1 The treatment was carried out by Lisette Burgess in the studio of Frames and Furniture Conservation at the NGV.