The son of portrait painter James Reid Lambdin, he was born on January 6, 1830 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, and exhibited there beginning in 1848. During the American Civil War, he worked with the United States Sanitary Commission, distributing medicines and bandages to troops in the field. He painted genre scenes of camp life, and domestic scenes that often included soldiers.
He was in poor health, beginning in middle age, and settled in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. There, he concentrated on painting flowers, especially roses, for the last 25 years of his life. Many of these paintings were copied as chromolithographs and mass-produced.
The Consecration (1865), Indianapolis Museum of Art.
At the Front (1866), Detroit Institute of Arts.
Still Life (1877), St. Louis Art Museum.
- February 1, 1896 obituary, The Germantown Guide from FindAGrave.
- George C. Lambdin biography from Questroyal Fine Arts
- Mark D. Mitchell, 'Rose Fever: The Paintings of George Cochran Lambdin', in The Antiques Magazine, 
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