There are two hundred and sixty nine watercolours of Sussex by James Lambert and his nephew James Lambert Jr. at the British Library, all of which were previously owned by the antiquary William Burrell (1732-96) (Add MS 5676-77). These comprise drawings which the artists copied from existing stock as well as original pictures. The Lamberts started working for Burrell in the autumn of 1775 and continued, intermittently, until 1784. Their commission was to make drawings of churches, chapels, castles and major country seats. The British Library also holds a set of preparatory sketches by the Lamberts at Add MS 71714.
In the view of Bramber Castle the two Lamberts can be seen at bottom left working collaboratively, one drawing the ancient monument on a board as the other counsels. An example of James Lambert junior’s work is the view of Whatlington Church, taken in 1779, while his uncle’s draughtsmanship is exemplified in the view of Bodiam Castle (1782).
- Article by:
- John Farrant
William Burrell’s topographical collections at the British Library include 1,300 watercolours of views, antiquities and buildings, a treasure trove for researchers as John Farrant explains.
- Article by:
- Ann Payne
Topographical artists, authors and collectors often concentrated on particular areas, as Ann Payne, former Curator of Manuscripts at the British Library explains.