Born in Aberdeen, Scotland, David Henry Souter was a housepainter and signwriter turned illustrator, cartoonist and journalist in Scotland and South Africa (where he married), before coming to Australia and settling in Sydney in 1886. Souter worked for the publisher John Sands, 'The tribune' and 'The bulletin' in Sydney. He was an active member of the Art Society of New South Wales and President of the breakaway Society of Artists for a time. He also illustrated books (including several for Ethel Turner), designed posters and bookplates, wrote librettos and produced plays for Sydney's Repertory Theatre. His comic strips were popular, as were his war cartoons during World War I. He was editor of 'Art and Architecture' 1904-11 and later in life the literary editor of 'Country life' magazine.
The stylized cats, seen in the hem of the dress of the woman to the right, was a signature motif of Souter, and appeared in many of his drawings.
excerpt from Hendrik Kolenberg, Anne Ryan and Patricia James, '19th century Australian watercolours, drawings & pastels in the Gallery's collection', Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2005
pen, brush and black ink on two joined sheets of thin card
28.1 x 52.4 cm sheet overall
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.l. corner., pen and black ink "HSOUTER [artist's monogram]/ ... -97".
Not on display
Where the work was made
Shown in 8 exhibitions
Exhibition of Australian art in London (1898), Grafton Galleries, London, 02 Apr 1898–31 Jul 1898
Society of Artists Spring Exhibition (1899), Vickery's Chambers, Sydney, Aug 1899 -
An exhibition of art nouveau in Australia:
- Art Gallery of Ballarat, Ballarat 05 Feb 1981–04 Mar 1981
- National Gallery of Victoria [St Kilda Road], Melbourne 21 Mar 1981–20 Apr 1981
- Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane 19 May 1981–22 Jun 1981
- S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney 17 Jul 1981–17 Aug 1981
Some Australian drawings 1880-1980, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 16 May 1981–18 Jun 1981
A brush with the bush:
Fin de Siècle: posters prints drawings from the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 Jan 1994–13 Mar 1994
Australian drawings from the Gallery's collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 13 Dec 1997–15 Mar 1998
19th century Australian watercolours, drawings & pastels, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Apr 2005–24 Jul 2005
Referenced in 11 publications
Renée Free, Fin de Siècle, Sydney, Jan 1994. no catalogue numbers
Grafton Galleries, Exhibition of Australian art in London, London, 1898. cat.no. 264
Hendrik Kolenberg, Australian drawings from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 1997, 26 (illus.). cat.no. 10
Hendrik Kolenberg, 19th century Australian watercolours, drawing and pastels from the Gallery's collection, 'Introduction', pg. 6-16, Sydney, 2005, 15, 123 (colour illus.).
Hendrik Kolenberg, Look, 'Australian images from the past: whether rarely seen or familiar, these works move and delight us', pg. 24-27, Sydney, Apr 2005, 27 (colour illus.).
Hendrik Kolenberg, Some Australian drawings 1880-1980: an exhibition from the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1981.
Ron Radford, Art Gallery of Ballarat and Australian Gallery Directors Council, Art nouveau in Australia, Sydney, 1980. cat.no. 108
Vaughan Rees, Art-i-facts: Book Two, an exploration of ideas in drawing, Sydney, 1998, 23 (illus.).
Andrew Sayers, 100 years of Australian drawing, Sydney, 1985, 51 (illus.). cat.no. 23
Society of Artists, Society of Artists Spring Exhibition, Sydney, 1899. cat.no. 218
Judith White (Editor), Look, Melbourne, Apr 1999, 25 (colour illus.).