Songs of the vagabond scholars
06 Feb 1915 - 16 Aug 1989
Donald Friend was born in Sydney. Friend studied etching with Sydney Long while still a schoolboy in 1930-31, and later studied under Datillo Rubbo in 1934. In 1936 he travelled to England where he studied at the Westminster School of Art under Bernard Meninsky and Mark Gertler. He spent his life travelling and working in England, Europe, Africa, Sri Lanka and Bali with periods in Australia and is best known as painter and draughtsman.
An etching he made while studying with Long, 'Old steps, Hunters Hill' c1931, is in the Gallery's collection, as is the drawing for it. He made lithographs at Gallery A, Melbourne with Janet Dawson for the series commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria in 1965. 'Songs of the vagabond scholars' was instigated by Lou Klepac of the Beagle Press, Sydney in 1981. Friend produced a further four lithographs on the four seasons in 1982, and twenty seven etchings printed by James Whitington of Whaling Road Studio, Sydney in 1987.
'Songs of the vagabond scholars' is a book of 'lyrics by anonymous wanderers who sheltered in courts and monasteries at the time of the Black Death', and contains fourteen lithographs by Donald Friend. The poems, translated by Randolph Stow, are from the 'Carmina Burana', a medieval text discovered in Munich in the early 19th century, parts of the 'Confessio' by the Archpoet (died c.1165) and the poem 'De ramis cadunt folia', written some time before 1200, for which the lithograph 'Winter song' is the illustration.
Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, 'Australian prints from the Gallery's collection', AGNSW, 1998
Place where the work was made
bound artist's book; 30 leaves, 14 original lithographs
45.7 x 32.5 cm leaf; 46.8 x 34.2 x 2.2 cm book closed; 46.8 x 69.0 cm book open :
a - page 1:"SONGS/ OF THE/ VAGABOND SCHOLARS", top c.,; 45.7 x 32.5 cm; leaf
Signature & date
Signed brown ink page 60, brown ink "Donald Friend". Not dated.
Gift of Lou Klepac 1989
Not on display
© Reproduced with permission of the Estate of Donald Friend. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney.
Where the work was made
Referenced in 2 publications
Hendrik Kolenberg, Donald Friend Retrospective 1915-1989, 'Donald Friend as printmaker', pg. 129-131, Sydney, 1990, 130 (illus.), 131. cat.no. 112c; the image depicted is 'I Am the Abbot of Cockaigne'
Unknown and Unknown, Australian prints from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 1998, 128 (illus.), 129 (illus.). cat.no. 109; the image depicted on pg. 128 is the cover of the artist's book; the image depicted on pg. 129 is plate no. 13, 'Winter song'