Grace Cossington Smith
1892 - 20 Dec 1984
Grace Cossington Smith loved to draw and continued the practice over her long career, including resolved works for exhibition, studies for paintings and drawings for personal use. Among her earliest drawings were images of everyday life at home in Sydney’s northern suburbs, with images of her home and its environs, and portraits of her family.
Cossington Smith’s parents, siblings and later nieces and nephews were willing and available subjects for the artist; this drawing is of her younger sister Charlotte (“Diddy”, 1897-1962). Cossington Smith’s sketchbooks (now in the National Gallery of Australia) include several images of Diddy, characteristically pictured reading with her eyes downcast and feet propped up, images of domestic contentment and leisure. Diddy remained living at home in the Smith household with her sister Grace until the mid 1920s, when her career as a nurse progressed.
Diddy is the subject of another Cossington Smith work in the Gallery collection, a painting titled ‘The reader’ c.1919.
pencil, crayon on buff wove paper
34.0 x 26.7 cm sight/sheet; 52.2 x 42.0 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.l., pencil 'G. Cossington Smith/ 1920?/ Sister Diddy'.
Purchased with funds provided by Guy, Marian and Meredith Paynter 2018
Not on display
© Estate of Grace Cossington Smith
Where the work was made
Shown in 3 exhibitions
Drawings and Watercolours by Grace Cossington Smith, Macquarie Galleries, Sydney, 20 Mar 1974–01 Apr 1974
Ruth Prowse, thirty years of collecting, Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra, 01 Apr 2004–16 May 2004
2018 Blue Chip XX: The Collectors Exhibition, Niagara Galleries, Richmond, 06 Mar 2018–07 Apr 2018
Referenced in 2 publications
Ruth Prowse, thirty years of collecting, Canberra, 2004, 15 (illus.).
Blue Chip XX: The collectors’ exhibition: featuring works from the private collection of the late Ruth Prowse, Richmond, 2018, 5 (colour illus.).