George C. Lambdin (1830–1896)

According to art historians William H. Gerdts and Russell Burke, George Cochran Lambdin was “the best-known flower painter of his time” and “probably, the leading still-life artist in Philadelphia.” Although Lambdin spent short periods in Europe and New York, his permanent residence was always to be the “City of Brotherly Love.” Here, the artist began painting genre scenes of themes ranging from sentimental portraits of women and children to Civil War campsites; however, it was during the 1860s that he explored what would become his most-celebrated subject: the still-life. Taking inspiration from his famous garden of beautiful flowers, Lambdin focused on the study and painting of roses in vases, arrangements, or against stark backgrounds. These works were reproduced in prints and distributed by Louis Prang & Co., making Lambdin a sensation along the East coast. Lambdin’s still lifes were exhibited at the most prestigious venues including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and National Academy of Design. His works may be seen at the Peabody Institute, Baltimore; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Metropolitan Museum of Art, and National Museum of American Art.

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