In this panoramic view of Dover Castle and bay (1738), the castle dominates the left of the composition and the town of Dover can be seen to the right. This is one of six versions of this view, painted by theatre scene and landscape painter George Lambert (1700-1765) between 1735 and 1751. The distant ships and figures may have been added by artist Samuel Scott (c.1702-1772), with whom Lambert sometimes collaborated.
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.
[Possibly collection of Alexander Stuart of Dunearn, Edinburgh, by 1786; possibly collection of George Watson Taylor (died 1820) of London and Earlstoke Park, Wiltshire; possibly Erlestoke Manor sale, conducted by George Robins, London, 9 July to 1 August 1832;] collection of E. Hardman by 1833; sold through Sotheby's, London, 'Fine Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Drawings and Paintings' sale, on 24 November 1965 (Lot 118), for £950, as 'A View of Dover with Castle on a rise to the left, mounted travellers in the foreground and shipping under sail in the Channel'; from which sale purchased by Lowndes Lodge Gallery (owned by Oscar and Peter Johnson); from whom purchased by the Ministry of Works in April 1966
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