In October 1948 Donald Friend and painter Peter Kaiser (a fellow resident of the artistic Woollahra boarding house Merioola, where Friend had lived since January 1946) booked a passage to Italy, departing Sydney on the Toscana on 25 March 1949, and arriving in Portofino on 11 May.
In June they moved to Florence and found a studio at Via Jacopo di Diacceto 6, belonging to a young African American artist from Michigan, Aberdeen Goodwin. Friend stayed here, until moving to London in October. The subject of this drawing is the vertigo-inducing spiral staircase found at the studio.
Friend remained friends with Aberdeen, returning to Florence for a second time in 1952; he again stayed with Aberdeen, this time in another room, the old studio having been let.
ink and wash on ivory laid paper on hardboard
47.5 x 30.5 cm sheet
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r., pen and ink "...'49/ Donald Friend.".
Tony Gilbert Bequest Fund 2013
Not on display
© Reproduced with permission of the Estate of Donald Friend. Licensed by Copyright Agency.
Shown in 3 exhibitions
Donald Friend (1975), Holdsworth Galleries, Australia, 18 Mar 1975–26 Apr 1975
Donald Friend Retrospective 1915-1989:
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 09 Feb 1990–25 Mar 1990
- National Gallery of Victoria [St Kilda Road], Melbourne 14 Apr 1990–06 Jun 1990
- Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart 26 Jun 1990–19 Aug 1990
Deutscher and Hackett: works from the Donald Friend collection including Bali and Southeast Asia, Deutscher and Hackett, Sydney, Paddington, 27 Oct 2013 -
Referenced in 1 publication
Barry Pearce, Donald Friend Retrospective 1915-1989, Sydney, 1990, 64. cat.no. 42