Henry Lamb first visited France with Augustus John in 1907, returning regularly for the next few years. He may have visited Brittany in 1908 or 1909 however none of his Breton works are dated before 1910. In the summer of 1910 he was at Doëlan, staying with the Favennec family at their home 'Kersimon'. It was during this trip that he completed several small panels depicting Breton peasants, one entitled 'Breton Boy' sold in these rooms, 9 June 2006, lot 30 for £72,000.
These works clearly show the influence of both Gauguin and also Augustus John, and in particular his interpretation of the work of Puvis de Chavannes. Lamb had become part of John's ménage in Paris, attending Jacques Emile Blanche's atelier where he would have seen the work of both Gauguin and Puvis de Chavannes. Lamb's small charming panels feature simplified forms and a flatter, muted use of colour.
John Louis Behrend was one of Lamb's most important patrons. The Behrends spent most of their lives supporting and encouraging young, talented artists and Henry had been one of the first to benefit from their patronage. He in turn introduced them to his friend, Stanley Spencer (see lots 50-1).