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Australian art

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The kitchen lancers



DH Souter


1862 - 1935


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


Place where the work was made

Sydney New South Wales Australia



Media category


Materials used

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".


Purchased 1968


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

DH Souter

Works in the collection



Where the work was made

Shown in 8 exhibitions

Exhibition history

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. 264

Hendrik Kolenberg, Australian drawings from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 1997, 26 (illus.). 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. 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.). 23

Society of Artists, Society of Artists Spring Exhibition, Sydney, 1899. 218

Judith White (Editor), Look, Melbourne, Apr 1999, 25 (colour illus.).