This drawing is a study for a painting, 'Pearl' 1940, in the Gallery's collection. It dates from a significant period in the artist's career when he returned to Sydney in 1938 after nine years in London, during which him he established his reputation as a major Australian painter.
The fluid linearity of the drawing reveals Dobell's facility as a draughtsman, evoking the fleshy thighs, contented self-absorption and disheveled appearance of his subject. Drawn from life as were all Dobell's figure studies of the period, it is a lyrical and expressive precursor to the final work, revealing Dobell’s creative process in the development of paintings.
© Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2007
pen and brown ink, charcoal on paper
22.7 x 17.7 cm sheet
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Purchased with funds provided by the Gil & Shay Docking Drawing Fund 2007
Not on display
© Courtesy Sir William Dobell Art Foundation.
Shown in 1 exhibition
William Dobell the painter's progress (1997-1998):
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 14 Feb 1997–27 Apr 1997
- Newcastle Region Art Gallery, Newcastle 07 May 1997–06 Jul 1997
- Museum of Modern Art at Heide, Bulleen 29 Jul 1997–21 Sep 1997
- Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane 25 Oct 1997–07 Dec 1997
- Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart 08 Jan 1998–01 Mar 1998
Referenced in 1 publication
Barry Pearce, Hendrik Kolenberg, Peter Raissis, Prue Davidson and Edmund Capon, William Dobell - the painter's progress, Sydney, 1997, 76 (colour illus.). cat.no. 24b