- Media category
- Materials used
- oil on board
- 93.0 x 129.0 cm board; 107.0 x 143.2 x 9.4 cm frame
- Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
- Mervyn Horton Bequest Fund 1984
- Not on display
- Accession number
- © Estate of Leon Kossoff
- Artist information
Works in the collection
A leading figure of the so called School of London, Leon Kossoff's London subjects commonly show building sites, street scenes, under-and-over-ground railway stations, their tracks and trains. His paintings and charcoal drawings combine observation, memory, a strong emotional response as well as the properties of his material's physicality.
Kossoff's rough and ready style had been frowned upon at the various art schools he had attended before enrolling at the Borough Polytechnic (1949-53) where he received great encouragement from his teacher, David Bomberg.
Kossoff's paintings are extremely thickly impastoed and the drawings corresponding to them also show a dogged application and the sustained assault of the drawing materials.
While his preferred subject is the life of London - the city that has always been his home - Kossoff draws from a range of subjects including nude models and members of his immediate family as well as the works of the great masters of the past.
Kossoff's subject here is 'Cephalus and Aurora', c1630, by Nicholas Poussin, in the National Gallery, London. It shows Aurora, goddess of dawn, in love with the mortal Cephalus, together in a story that ends tragically.
Shown in 6 exhibitions
Leon Kossoff: recent work, Fischer Fine Art Ltd, London, 22 Mar 1984–27 Apr 1984
The British show:
- Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth 19 Feb 1985–24 Mar 1985
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 23 Apr 1985–09 Jun 1985
- Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane 05 Jul 1985–11 Aug 1985
- Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne, Melbourne 26 Sep 1985–05 Nov 1985
- National Art Gallery, Wellington, Wellington 05 Dec 1985–26 Jan 1986
Five years on: a selection of acquisitions 1981-1986, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 26 Sep 1986–23 Nov 1986
Acquisitions from the Komon, Salkauskas and Horton Funds, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 05 May 1987–31 May 1987
Drawn to painting: Leon Kossoff drawings and prints after Nicolas Poussin, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 17 Mar 2001–27 May 2001
Some mysterious process, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 01 Jun 2020–13 Sep 2020
Referenced in 8 publications
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Five years on: a selection of acquisitions 1981-1986, Sydney, 1986. cat.no. 123
Anthony Bond, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Contemporary', pg. 94-108, Sydney, 1988, 97 (illus.).
Fischer Fine Art Ltd, Leon Kossoff: recent work, London, 1984, 37 (illus.).
Renée Free, Art Gallery of New South Wales catalogue of British paintings, Sydney, 1987, 102 (illus.).
Peter Fuller, The British show, 'Leon Kossoff', pg. 87-89, Sydney, 1985, 87 (colour illus.), 89. as 1983
Richard Kendall, Drawn to painting: Leon Kossoff drawings and prints after Nicolas Poussin, 'Leon Kossoff: Drawings and Prints after Nicolas Poussin', pg.9-51, London, 1999, 14, 15 (colour illus.). fig. 4
Anne Kirker and Peter Tomory, British painting 1800–1990 in Australian and New Zealand public collections, Sydney, 1997, 117. cat.no. 1226
Michael Wardell, Look, 'Mervyn Horton's bequest', pg. 11-12, Sydney, Jun 2004, 11.
Other works by Leon Kossoff
See more works