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Australian art

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Composition study: seated female nude

(circa 1928)


Grace Crowley


28 May 1890 - 21 Apr 1979


'We were united in the one belief, the constructive approach to painting, and this insistence of the abstract elements in building a design was the keynote of teaching with both Lhote and Gleizes ... Although the model was used in the class, the student was discouraged from making merely a faithful record of a nude, a draped figure or a portrait. The abstract elements in line, shape and colour were introduced in order to induce the student to construct from it a design within a given space.'

Grace Crowley, 1966

This drawing was made during the artist's time in Paris, where she studied under André Lhote a leading teacher of the Cubist movement. Her strongly delineated contours and volumetric modelling of the body accords with Lhote's emphasis on the simplification of forms into basic geometry. The drawing also reveals Crowley's strong grasp of anatomy, acquired through earlier academic training at Julian Ashton's Sydney Art School.


Place where the work was made

Paris France


(circa 1928)

Media category


Materials used

pencil on thin ivory wove paper


42.0 x 32.4 cm sheet

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Bequest of the artist 1980


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Grace Crowley

Artist profile

Works in the collection



Where the work was made

Shown in 7 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 5 publications


Nicolas Draffin, Three years on: a selection of acquisitions 1978-1981, 'Prints and Drawings - Australia, European and American', pg. 47-66, Sydney, 1981, 62 (illus.). 30

Hendrik Kolenberg, Australian drawings from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 1997, 42 (illus.). 30

Hendrik Kolenberg, The portrait and the nude: Australian drawings from the collection, Sydney, 1990. 19

Elena Taylor, Grace Crowley: being modern, Canberra, 2006, 17 (colour illus.), 59. NOTE: date of work (circa 1928)

Daniel Thomas AM (Curator), Project 4: Grace Crowley, Sydney, 1975. 17