This view of Peterborough has a surreal quality, partly a result of the significant buildings of the city being compressed together and partly because of the idealised landscape surrounding the city. The most prominent building in the view is Peterborough Cathedral. Also known as the Cathedral Church of St Peter, St Paul and St Andrew, Peterborough Cathedral is one of the most popular cathedrals in the country. Constructed between 1118 and 1238, it includes a remarkable and imposing Early English Gothic west front. Other artists who have sketched the cathedral include J. M. W. Turner and Thomas Girtin.
Art Historian Elizabeth Einberg has suggested that the ‘long and narrow format’ and ‘rough handling’ demonstrated in the work indicate that it was painted to be displayed over a door and therefore intended to be seen from afar.
George Lambert, theatre scene and landscape painter, divided his career equally between the two professions. For most of his life he lived in Covent Garden. His early style of the 1720s is similar to that of John Wootton. However, his later classical landscapes earned him the accolade ‘the English Poussin’. Lambert painted the landscape backgrounds for William Hogarth’s paintings ‘The Pool of Bethesda’ and ‘The Good Samaritan’, made for St. Bartholomew’s Hospital (1736-37). In 1761 he was elected chairman of the newly founded Society of Artists of Great Britain. The Society received the Royal Seal on 26th January 1765 and just five days later Lambert died at his home in Covent Garden, leaving his possessions to his servant, Ann Terry.
With Omell Galleries by 1954; by whom sold through Christie's, London, on 25 February 1955 (Lot 98), as by Rayner, for £44.0.0; from which sale purchased by Appleby Bros., London; with F. T. Sabin by 1956; from whom purchased by the Ministry of Works in 1959
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