The first American to specialize in painting roses, George Cochran Lambdin began his career as a painter of genre and Civil War scenes. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the artist and his family moved to Philadelphia in 1837. Lambdin began his training under his father, the academic figure painter James Reid Lambdin, and in his mid-twenties he studied abroad in several European art academies, including Munich, Paris, and later in Rome. He painted floral still lifes as early as 1857, but his focus on the theme began in 1867 when he took up residence at the Tenth Street Studio Building in New York City, and became friendly with the esteemed painter John LaFarge. The following year, Lambdin produced several paintings which were widely distributed as colored lithographic prints. The success of that venture, combined with Lambdin’s return to the Philadelphia area in 1870, may have prompted his concentration on flower still lifes for the remainder of his career.
Lambdin’s works are housed in important public collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO; Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN; North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh NC; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT; the Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MO; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA.