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Grace Cossington Smith


1892 - 20 Dec 1984


From the late 1950s Cossington Smith embarked on her last series of paintings whose subjects were drawn from the rooms and spaces around her home. With their mosaic-like surface of broken brushwork evoking a sense of light radiating through colour, Cossington Smith transformed her unassuming subject matter into sites of extraordinary energy and majestic form. These paintings became her crowning achievement and sealed her reputation as one of Australia's greatest colourists.

In this work her technique is at its most assured. She combines, in small dabs of unblended colour, richly saturated hues of greens, yellows, blues and reds. Setting her subject in a tilted compositional frame there is a strong feel for an intensely personalised portrayal of the world as seen through the domestic interior.




Media category


Materials used

oil on hardboard


121.9 x 91.5 cm board; 138.3 x 108.1 x 4.0 cm frame

Signature & date

Signed and dated l.l. corner, black oil "G. Cossington Smith 56".
Signed u.l. corner verso on board, pen and black ink on white adhered label ".../ Grace Cossington Smith".


Gift of Graham and Judy Martin 2014, assisted by the Australian Masterpiece Fund

Accession number


Artist information

Grace Cossington Smith

Artist profile

Works in the collection


Shown in 7 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 9 publications


Bruce Adams, Grace Cossington Smith, 'Interior in yellow: 1951-1971', pg. 133-155, Sydney, 1990, 142 (colour illus.), 188. plate no. 101

Bruce Adams, Hemisphere: An Asian-Australian Monthly, 'Innovator in a garden studio', pg. 2-8, Sydney, Jun 1973, 4, 5 (colour illus.).

Michael Brand, Look, 'From the Gallery director', pg. 11, Sydney, May 2015, 11, 26, 27 (colour illus.), 28.

Farmer's Blaxland Gallery, Farmer's Blaxland Gallery: Recent Australian Paintings, 'Catalogue', pg. 1-8, Australia, 1958, n.pag.. 22; priced 70 guineas

Society of Artists, Society of Artists: Spring Exhibition 1957, 'Catalogue', pg. 19-22, Sydney, 1957, 19. 14; priced 70 guineas

Smith & Singer (Editor), Sotheby's Australia, Important Australian and International Art, Sydney, Nov 2014, 34, 35 (colour illus.), 36, 37. lot no. 14; estimated price $250,000- 350,000

St James Turramurra, A tribute to Grace Cossington Smith, 'Catalogue', Turramurra, Nov 1975, n.pag.. 22

Daniel Thomas, Grace Cossington Smith, 'Illustrations', pg. 13-, Sydney, 1973, 55 (illus.), 67. 68

Author Unknown, Autumn Exhibition (Joseph Brown Gallery 1979), 'Catalogue', Melbourne, Apr 1979, 85 (colour illus.). 85