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Australian art

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Standing nude

circa 1946


Fred Williams

Australia, England

23 Jan 1927 - 22 Apr 1982


Although Fred Williams is best known as a landscape artist, his study and early work was grounded in figuration. In late 1943, at the age of sixteen Williams enrolled at the National Gallery School, Melbourne, where he studied drawing. Here he spent many hours laboriously sketching plaster casts, before advancing to life drawing. He subsequently undertook painting classes with William Dargie who advocated a subtle, tonal approach, and attended private classes held by modernist painter, George Bell.

This painting, produced while Williams was a student at that National Gallery School, indicates his capacity and respect for achieving both volume and mass in his figures. 'Standing nude' exemplifies a period of transition where Williams developed from a student to young artist.


Other Title

Standing female nude

Place where the work was made

Melbourne Victoria Australia


circa 1946

Media category


Materials used

oil on canvas on plywood


98.4 x 38.0 cm board

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Gift of the Margaret Hannah Olley Art Trust 2012


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Fred Williams

Artist profile

Works in the collection



Where the work was made

Shown in 4 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 5 publications


Patrick McCaughey, Fred Williams 1927-1982, 'Student work', pg. 34-40, Kensington, 1980, 34 (colour illus.). 23

James Mollison (Curator), Fred Williams: a retrospective, Canberra, 1987, 3 (illus.). titled 'Standing female nude'; 1

Editor Unknown (Editor), Deutscher-Menzies: Australian & International fine art, Woollahra, Mar 2007, 150 (colour illus.). lot no. 211

Editor Unknown (Editor), Christie's Australia - Australian and European Paintings, South Yarra, Nov 1998, (colour illus.). lot no. 101

Editor Unknown (Editor), Early works and others selected from the Harry Rosengrave collection, Melbourne, May 1979. 242; not paginated