13 May 2017

Clement Lambert (1855-1925) Brighton Artist

Judy Middleton 2002 (revised 2017)

 copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
The Dust Storm 
(the scene shows the Lighthouse at Kingston Buci and in the distance to the left, is the Church of St Mary de Haura on the far side of Shoreham Harbour)

Clem Lambert was a popular and prolific local artist who painted mainly in watercolours. His father earned a living as a jeweller and goldsmith.

There seems to be a difference of opinion as to where and when Clem Lambert was born:

One source states it was in 1855 at 18 Cranbourne Street, Brighton
W.H. Challen thought it was 26 February 1850 at 66 West Street, Brighton
Clem’s sister said it was 28 February 1854
Recent opinion pinpoints the year 1855

 copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
The Sheep Wash, Sussex

Clem Lambert was a tall, stooping figure with a questioning glance in his eyes. He feared he was destined for an early death because he suffered from tuberculosis. Perhaps it gave an added impetus to his output thinking there was no time to waste. But it also had a sad effect on his love life because out of consideration for her health he never married his lifelong sweetheart Lucy Sharman. Instead, he continued to show his devotion by sending her many of his paintings over the years and the final tally came to 110 works.

  copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
Landscape with Rainbow and Sheep

Clem Lambert’s paintings were exhibited frequently and in his earlier years some were shown at the Royal Academy.

The Sussex Daily News produced some of his popular local paintings as postcards under the title ‘Clem Lambert’s Brighton’. They include the following:

 copyright © J.Middleton
Sunset over the Chain Pier

  copyright © J.Middleton
Brighton Beach with Boats

 copyright © J.Middleton
Brighton Beach with Shelter Hall

 copyright © J.Middleton
Clock Tower and North Street

 copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
Royal Pavilion and North Gate
He also painted popular local characters such as the Wheeler Band and Dizzy or Brandy Balls.

In July 1913 Clem Lambert noticed something about the Goldstone in Hove Park that nobody else had recognised. What Lambert discovered was that if you stood by Old Shoreham Road looking north on a bright, sunny morning, you could clearly see a face. He executed a sketch to prove his point, calling the face ‘Rockfeller’

 copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
(From the Brighton Graphic 27 March 1915)

He painted windmills too including Worthing Windmill, Ballard’s Mill at Patcham and a lovely scene at West Blatchington that included the windmill.

  copyright © J.Middleton
 West Blatchington Windmill and St Peters Church

An evocative view of the countryside with shepherd and sheep was completed in around 1890 and entitled ‘Home to the Fold’.

 copyright © J.Middleton
Home to the Fold

One of his foremost works was a large oil painting of the Chattri Memorial. For three months he arose at 4 a.m. in order to capture on canvas the quality of light at sunrise. This painting was taken aboard HMS Renown when the Prince of Wales embarked on his grand tour and it was presented as a gift to India. It is supposed to hang in Delhi Museum.

  copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
 A view from the Downs looking towards the sea, with Ghat (Sikh and Hindu cremations) painted before the Chattri Memorial was built in the 1920s
  copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
Chattri Memorial, Brighton in the 1920s

Clem Lambert died in 1924 at Brighton and again there is disagreement about the day. His sister says it was 31 December while another source plumbs for 30 December.

Clem lived virtually all his life at Brighton but he was buried at Hove Cemetery where his tombstone is marked with a simple ‘Clem’ but no surname. His younger sister was buried there too and she is recorded as ‘Lottie’ again without a surname. Clem’s fourth brother Lewis Lambert and his wife also share the family plot

In 1927 Miss Charlotte Sarah ‘Lottie’ Lambert of 12 York Villas, Brighton, presented Hove Museum with two of Clem’s watercolours. They are:

Road from Lancing to Worthing
Morning Mists near Lewes

Also in 1927 an exhibition of Clem’s works was held at Hove Museum. It was open for a period of 25 days and an indication of his popularity can be seen in the attendance figures – 4,190 people visited, which averaged out as 168 persons a day.

 copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
Bramber Flooding

‘Lottie’ Lambert died on 10 November 1941 and she donated a number of her brother’s paintings to Hove Museum. They are as follows:

25 unframed watercolours
33 framed watercolours
20 oil paintings
2 framed pastels

Amongst the oil paintings are: The Forge, The Rainbow, Sheep Dipping, A Windy Day, River Scene, Lighthouse, Flooded Road, Figurehead

 copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
Landscape with Horse and Sheep


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