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An image of Nude by William Dobell

William Dobell

(Australia, England 24 Sep 1899 – 13 May 1970)

Media category
Materials used
oil on canvas on wood

89.5 x 69.2 cm board; 105.5 x 84.5 x 6.0 cm frame

Signature & date
Signed l.l. corner, pale brown oil "William Dobell". Not dated.
Purchased 1942
Accession number
© Courtesy Sir William Dobell Art Foundation.
Not on display
Further information

Honing a thing down until you can still get through with economy, that’s power. Learn your technique thoroughly, immerse yourself in it, and then just throw it all out the window and express what you feel – and it will come through that you are a technician.

William Dobell, 1970

William Dobell made some of his finest life studies while attending the Slade School of Fine Art in London from 1929 to 1930, which emphasised a traditional approach and the importance of a grounding in drawing from the life model, followed by painting. Revealing his early mastery of the figure, Dobell’s 'Nude' of 1931 is a work of infinite grace and sensuousness.

Bibliography (14)

William Dobell', William Dobell: portraits in context, 'Portraits in context: selected early works, pg. 21-25, Kent Town, 2003, 22, 38 (colour illus.), back cover (colour illus.).

Hendrik Kolenberg, William Dobell - the painter's progress, 'Early figure studies', pg. 23-31, Sydney, 1997, 24, 30 (colour illus.), 31, 144. 3a

Hal Missingham, Contemporary Australian painting, 'Introduction', pg. 5-6, Auckland, 1957, inside front cover (illus.), 9. 9; plate no. 1

Margaret Olley and Jeffrey Smart, Favourites: Margaret Olley and Jeffrey Smart selections, Sydney, 2002. NOTE: No catalogue numbers; Margaret Olley selection.

Margaret Olley and Barry Humphries, Favourites: Margaret Olley and Barry Humphries choose from public and private collections, Sydney, 2000. Catalogue entry appears in inserted list to printed catalogue

Barry Pearce, Australian painters of the twentieth century, 'William Dobell', pg. 76-87, Roseville, 2000, 78 (colour illus.).

Bernard Smith, 100 years of Australian painting, 'Foreword', pg. 2-4, Sydney, 1948, 10. 58

The Journalist's Club, Art Exhibition (1963), Sydney, 1963. 21

Laurence Thomas, Twelve Australian artists, 'Introduction', pg. 6-10, London, 1953, 12. 4

Kenneth Wilkinson (Editor), Art in Australia [series 3, no. 77], Sydney, Nov 1939, 10 (illus.).

Ross Woodrow, William Dobell: hard drawing, Newcastle, 2007, 36, 40 (colour illus.), 68.

Editor Unknown (Editor), Australian National Journal, Spring 1939, 36 (illus.).

Author Unknown, William Dobell, 1960. plate no. 2, 2

Editor Unknown (Editor), Australian National Journal, 1942, 60 (illus.).

Exhibition history (19)

Society of Artists Annual Exhibition (1939), Education Department Gallery [Loftus Street], Sydney, 04 Aug 1939–25 Aug 1939

Margaret Preston and William Dobell loan exhibition (1942), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 19 Mar 1942–16 Apr 1942

William Dobell (1944), David Jones' Art Gallery, Sydney, Sydney, 01 Aug 1944–26 Aug 1944

100 years of Australian painting (1948), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 19 Apr 1948–17 May 1948

Twelve Australian Artists:

Esposizione Biennale Internazionale d'Arte Venice, 1954, Australian Pavilion, Venice Biennale, Venice, 19 Jun 1954–Oct 1954

Contemporary Australian paintings - First loan exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 28 Sep 1955–19 Oct 1955

Contemporary Australian Painting - Pacific Loan Exhibition (1956):

Contemporary Australian painting (1957), Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, Auckland, Feb 1957–Mar 1957

William Dobell (1960), Museum of Modern Art in Australia, Melbourne, 17 May 1960–10 Jun 1960

Dobell loan exhibition, Newcastle Region Art Gallery, Newcastle, 22 Jun 1960–30 Jul 1960

Art exhibition (1963), The Journalist's Club, 22 Oct 1963–post 22 Oct 1963

Exhibition of paintings by William Dargie, William Dobell, Russell Drysdale, George Finey and William Pidgeon (1963), The Journalist's Club, 22 Oct 1963 -

William Dobell: Paintings from 1926 - 1964 (1964), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 Jul 1964–30 Aug 1964

William Dobell the painter's progress (1997-1998):

Favourites: Margaret Olley and Barry Humphries choose from Australian collections (2000), S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney, 15 Jan 2000–27 Feb 2000

Favourites: Margaret Olley and Jeffrey Smart (2002), S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney, 12 Jan 2002–24 Feb 2002

Portraits in context: the early work of William Dobell (2003), Carrick Hill, Australia, 08 Mar 2003–29 Jun 2003

William Dobell: hard drawing (2007-2008), Newcastle Region Art Gallery, Newcastle, 15 Dec 2007–10 Feb 2008