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An image of The fortune teller by Donald Friend

Donald Friend

(Australia 06 Feb 1915 – 16 Aug 1989)

The fortune teller
Media category
Materials used
oil on canvas on hardboard

66.0 x 96.5 cm board; 86.1 x 117.7 x 5.9 cm frame

Signature & date
Signed l.r. corner, white oil "DONALD FRIEND". Not dated.
Purchased 1956
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

Donald Friend’s 'The fortune teller' was painted in Brisbane after he and I had been on a painting trip to North Queensland. Donald was looking through Life magazines and saw some photographs of an Indian ceremony which included elephants decorated with elaborate designs. Donald was fascinated and later incorporated the patterns into this painting.

Margaret Olley, 2000

Bibliography (10)

Helen Campbell, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Out of Sydney: city and hinterlands', pg. 185-186, Sydney, 2000, 206 (colour illus.), 300.

Christine France, Parallel visions: works from the Australian collection, 'Donald Friend / Margaret Olley', pg. 128-139, Sydney, 2002, 130 (colour illus.), 132, 143, 147.

Lou Klepac, Donald Friend: a charmed life, Canberra, 2006. Checklist of works.

Macquarie Galleries, Donald Friend (1956), Sydney, 1956. 19

National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Purchases and Acquisitions for 1956 National Art Gallery of N.S.W., Sydney, 1956, 6. 6

Margaret Olley, Favourites: Margaret Olley and Barry Humphries choose from public and private collections, 'Introduction', pg. 1-3, Sydney, 2000, 2. Catalogue entry appears in inserted list to printed catalogue

Barry Pearce, Donald Friend Retrospective 1915-1989, Sydney, 1990, 84 (colour illus.). 63

Laurence Thomas., Contemporary Australian painters, 'Foreword', Ottawa, 1957, (illus.). 36, 10

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, 30 May 1956.

Editor Unknown (Editor), Daily telegraph and daily news, Sydney, 30 May 1956.

Exhibition history (6)

Donald Friend (1956), Macquarie Galleries, Sydney, Jun 1956–Jul 1956

Contemporary Australian Painters (1957):

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

Parallel Visions: Twenty-two artists from the Australian collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 22 Feb 2002–May 2003

Margaret Olley and Donald Friend (2006):

Donald Friend: A charmed life, National Library of Australia, Canberra, 09 Nov 2006–04 Feb 2007