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Australian art

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Woman lounging

(circa 1941)


Russell Drysdale

England, Australia

07 Feb 1912 - 29 Jun 1981


Russell Drysdale was a gifted draughtsman, and drew continually, developing his powers of observation and capturing his subjects in numerous variations. The 1940s saw his interests broaden to encompass aspects of Surrealism, as well as the work of Picasso, Modigliani and Henry Moore, which in turn informed Drysdale's renowned paintings of the Australian landscape; these works were to confirm his reputation as a major Australian artist. His work always remained centred on his sympathy for ordinary people and everyday experience.

This drawing was made in 1941 or 1942 from memory. Drysdale had attended a party, and saw a woman leaning back into an armchair, a cigarette between her lips. 'I remember being struck with the pose and did think of painting it but never got round to it. I gave it to Sydney Ure Smith because he liked it so much' [as related to Daniel Thomas, AGNSW, by the artist]. Sydney Ure Smith (1887-1949) was an artist, publisher, collector and friend to many artists, including Drysdale.

© Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2004


Place where the work was made

Sydney New South Wales Australia


(circa 1941)

Media category


Materials used

pen and black ink, dry brush and brown ink on paper


28.2 x 38.4 cm sheet

Signature & date

Signed l.r., pen and ink "Russell Drysdale". Not dated.


Purchased 1964


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Russell Drysdale

Artist profile

Works in the collection



Where the work was made

Shown in 6 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 5 publications


Art Gallery of Western Australia, The drawings of Russell Drysdale: 1980 Perth survey of drawing, Perth, 1980. 20

Lou Klepac, Russell Drysdale: the drawings, Sydney, 2012, 58 (colour illus.).

Hendrik Kolenberg, Australian drawings from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 1997, 10 (colour illus.), 68 (illus.). 59

Hendrik Kolenberg, Everyday life: prints drawings and watercolours from the collections of Australian and European art, Sydney, 1994. 23

Sydney Ure Smith (Editor), Australian present day art, Sydney, 1943, 34.