In Lotty and a Lady , Lambert presented an apparently everyday kitchen scene in which the housemaid, Lotty, is in command of her kitchen, looking out comfortably at the viewer. The lady, with head in profile and dressed for outdoors in hat and gloves, occupies the upper left of the scene. On the table is a carefully arranged still life with two fish, observed with precision. Neither mistress nor maid engage with these objects. They are lost in thought, posed as the still life.
The model for the lady was Thea Proctor. The model for ‘Lotty’ was Lottie Stafford, a Cockney washerwoman living in the slum cottages of Paradise Walk in Chelsea. She was a popular model on account of her naturalness, total self-assurance and subtle sensuality. She had a ‘swan neck’ which greatly appealed to William Orpen, and which he emphasized in the series of works he painted around 1905 – including The Wash House 1905 ...
fishglasshatwomenoil on canvas