We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


(Bearded old man)

(circa 1925)


Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo

Australia, Italy

1870 – 1955

  • Details

    Other Title
    Etching of an elderly man
    (circa 1925)
    Media category
    Materials used
    etching, printed in black ink on ivory laid paper
    18.2 x 13.9 cm platemark, 29.3 x 23.3 cm sheet
    Signature & date

    Signed l.l. corner, pencil "A.Dattilo-Rubbo". Not dated.

    Purchased with funds provided by the Australian Prints, Drawings and Watercolours Benefactors' Fund 2011
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Estate of Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Dattilo-Rubbo was an important painter, watercolourist, draughtsman & teacher in Sydney in the first half of the 20th century.
    Amongst his many students were the early modernists Roy de Maistre, Roland Wakelin and Grace Cossington Smith. In its simplicity & understatement this work is not unlike the etchings of Livingston Hopkins, though it probably owes much more to Dattilo-Rubbo's Italian heritage, stretching back to Benedetto Castiglione as etcher and those of the 19th century master of Italian realism (one of the famed 'macchiaioli' group), Giovanni Fattori, who had a similarly plain approach to etching.

    The elderly man portrayed in the etching appears to be the same subject who modelled for a very fine drawing by Dattilo-Rubbo 'Study for an old man seated' also in the Gallery's collection.The artist stated 'When I want a model I go out into the parks and look at the old men sitting in the sun. When I see a likely face, I offer him a cigarette, then I suggest that he should make a few shillings cleaning out the studio. Finally, I get him to pose' . [Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo in 'Sunday Pictorial', 6 July 1930]

Other works by Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo

See all 16 works