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Australian art

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recto: Self portrait verso: Portrait of study of a nude man seated back view



William Dobell

Australia, England

24 Sep 1899 - 13 May 1970


William Dobell was one of Australia's most celebrated portraitists. Drawn in London, where he lived and worked between 1929 and 1938, 'Self portrait' is an assured study of a man confident in his powers of draughtsmanship, presenting himself with cool detachment. This period marked the most significant period in his development. The Gallery has an outstanding collection of Dobell drawings, due principally to a gift of over one thousand drawings from the artist's estate by the Trustees of the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation in 1990.

Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2000




Media category


Materials used

pencil, brush and brown ink


16.3 x 15.6 cm sheet (irreg.)

Signature & date

Signed and dated c.l., pencil "W Dobell/ 1937".


Purchased under the terms of the Florence Turner Blake Bequest 1962


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

William Dobell

Artist profile

Works in the collection


Shown in 8 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 8 publications


Scott Carlin., Kings Cross: bohemian Sydney, 'Kings Cross: bohemian Sydney', Sydney, 2003, (colour illus.). not paginated

Scott Carlin, Insites, 'Kings Cross: bohemian life in Sydney', pg. 6-7, Glebe, Winter 2003, back cover (colour illus.).

Jane Hylton, William Dobell: portraits in context, 'William Dobell: a brief biography', pg. 30-32, Kent Town, 2003, 31 (illus.).

Hendrik Kolenberg, Australian drawings from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 1997, 46 (illus.). 35

Hendrik Kolenberg, The portrait and the nude: Australian drawings from the collection, Sydney, 1990. 25

Barry Pearce, Look, 'William Dobell (1899-1970) The Painter's Progress', pg. 12-13, Heidelberg, Feb 1997, 3 (colour illus.), 13 (colour illus.).

Peter Raissis, William Dobell - the painter's progress, 'London: life and portraits', pg. 32-72, Sydney, 1997, 36 (colour illus.), 144. 4b

Judith White, Australian art collector, 'Yours sincerely: William Dobell', pg. 56-59, Sydney, Apr 2000-Jun 2000, 59.