At the Casino by the Sea, Oil on canvas, 1915
Although the predominant trend in the art world during the first few decades of the 20th century was for American artists to find inspiration in their European colleagues, artist Camille Lambert was actually influenced by the American painter Robert Henri and his followers in the Ashcan School. In a scene depicting people departing from a casino, the artist embraces the American tradition of painting life he experiences. This quality is in holding with the Ashcan tradition of painting one’s surroundings and conveying real events without embellishing on them. As can be witnessed in At the Casino by the Sea, wide, sweeping brushstrokes are typical of paintings done in the Ashcan style.
The Ashcan School was an artistic movement in the United States during the early 20th century that is best known for works portraying scenes of daily life in New York, often in the city’s poorer neighborhoods. While falling into this style later in his career, Lambert’s early work was done using Post-Impressionist and Luminist techniques. Throughout his life, Lambert painted a variety of portraits, genre scenes, and watercolor seascapes. He exhibited his works at the Salon des Artistes Français in Paris, the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, and at the 20th Salon in 1912.