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Donald Friend

(Australia 06 Feb 1915 – 16 Aug 1989)

The studio stairs, Firenze
Place of origin
Media category
Materials used
ink and wash on ivory laid paper on hardboard

47.5 x 30.5 cm sheet

Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r., pen and ink "...'49/ Donald Friend.".
Tony Gilbert Bequest Fund 2013
Accession number
© Reproduced with permission of the Estate of Donald Friend. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney.
Not on display
Further information

In October 1948 Donald Friend and painter Peter Kaiser (a fellow resident of the artistic Woollahra boarding house Merioola, where Friend had lived since January 1946) booked a passage to Italy, departing Sydney on the Toscana on 25 March 1949, and arriving in Portofino on 11 May.

In June they moved to Florence and found a studio at Via Jacopo di Diacceto 6, belonging to a young African American artist from Michigan, Aberdeen Goodwin. Friend stayed here, until moving to London in October. The subject of this drawing is the vertigo-inducing spiral staircase found at the studio.

Friend remained friends with Aberdeen, returning to Florence for a second time in 1952; he again stayed with Aberdeen, this time in another room, the old studio having been let.

Bibliography (1)

Barry Pearce, Donald Friend Retrospective 1915-1989, Sydney, 1990, 64. 42

Exhibition history (3)

Donald Friend (1975), Holdsworth Galleries, Australia, 18 Mar 1975–26 Apr 1975

Donald Friend Retrospective 1915-1989:

Deutscher and Hackett: works from the Donald Friend collection including Bali and Southeast Asia, Deutscher and Hackett, Sydney, Sydney, 27 Oct 2013 -