Skip to content

Update from the Gallery regarding COVID-19

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is open. We are observing strict physical distancing and hygiene measures to protect the health of visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Read the latest visit information




Australian art

View More:





Fred Coventry


1905 - 1997


Fred Coventry was born in New Zealand and studied in Sydney between 1926–29 at the Julian Ashton School before emigrating
to England. He was a friend of William Dobell – they shared a flat for a time in London – and the Gallery has a portrait of Coventry
painted by Dobell around 1932 in the collection.

Coventry produced a number of engravings shortly after he arrived in England in 1929, where engraving in metal was experiencing a small revival, and entered at least two of them for a travelling scholarship, the Prix de Rome, which had a category for engravers. The bold, spare linearity of Coventry’s engravings emphasise the modernity of his subjects and reveal his interest in modern design and subject matter, especially buildings under construction or demolition, and figure studies. He lost his engraved plates in the London Blitz of 1940.

Carinthia is a nine-story apartment building in Springfield Avenue, Kings Cross, built in 1926. Coventry drew the subject, which he described in a letter to the National Gallery of Australia as … ‘a view of Darlinghurst, Sydney’, in 1928 and made the engraving in London the following year. The dense urban
conglomeration of Kings Cross clearly appealed to him, with the modern apartment building rising from a sea of terrace houses,
counterpointed by the spiky succulents growing in the foreground that place the subject very firmly in the warm Sydney climate.

from Anne Ryan, 'Australian etchings and engravings 1880s–1930s from the Gallery's collection', AGNSW, Sydney 2007


Place where the work was made

Potts Point Sydney New South Wales Australia



Media category


Materials used

copper engraving, printed in black ink on cream laid paper


1st proof before edition


20.2 x 14.3 cm plate mark; 28.1 x 21.8 cm sheet

Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r. beneath platemark, pencil "FHCoventry. 6.29".


Bequest of Megan Machin neé Sharpe 1998


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Fred Coventry

Works in the collection



Where the work was made
Potts Point

Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history

  • Sydney Moderns, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Jul 2013–07 Oct 2013

Referenced in 2 publications


Anne Ryan, Australian etchings and engravings 1880s–1930s from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 2007, 64, 64 (colour illus.). 93

Martin Terry, Sydney moderns: art for a new world, 'Modern destinations', pg. 132-139, Sydney, 2013, 132, 135 (colour illus.), 311, 320.