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


Aboriginal stockmen

circa 1953


Russell Drysdale

England, Australia

07 Feb 1912 – 29 Jun 1981

Artist profile

  • Details

    Other Title
    Station boys
    circa 1953
    Media category
    Materials used
    oil on canvas
    76.5 x 60.9 cm stretcher; 87.8 x 72.5 cm frame
    Signature & date

    Signed l.r. corner, red oil "Russell Drysdale". Not dated.

    Gift of Ausgrid on behalf of the New South Wales Government 2013
    South Building, ground level, 20th-century galleries
    Accession number
    © Estate of Russell Drysdale

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    Artist information
    Russell Drysdale

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection


  • About

    In 1951 Russell Drysdale travelled to Cape York Peninsula in northern Queensland where he developed an interest in Indigenous Australians as a subject for his work. Many of the paintings he produced during this time depict Aboriginal subjects in urban and rural settings, and reveal the artist’s objective compassion toward the people he met and painted. These works formed a significant social comment on the sense of displacement experienced by Indigenous people during the early 1950s in Australia.

    'Aboriginal stockmen' emanates from this period and presents two young Indigenous Australian stockmen standing side-by-side in a photographic-type format. Portraying the young men at a close proximity – in comparison to related works, such as ('Group of Aboriginal people') (1953) – the painting establishes a more intimate connection between its subject and the viewer.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications

    • Macquarie Galleries, Russell Drysdale, 'Catalogue', Sydney, 1953, n.pag.. cat.no. 14

    • John Saxby (Editor), Look, 'Lost boys from the bush found in the city', pg. 10, Sydney, May 2015, 10, 28 (colour illus.).

Other works by Russell Drysdale

See all 37 works