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Australian art

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Interior with wardrobe mirror



Grace Cossington Smith


1892 - 20 Dec 1984


My chief interest, I think, has always been colour, but not flat crude colour, it must be colour within colour, it has to shine; light must be in it, it is no good having heavy, dead colour … The room is in my own home here, and the sunlight did not come in a definite way but the whole room seemed to be full of light, which is what I want to do more than the actual sunlight. I feel that even the shadows are subdued light and they must have light in them as well as the light parts.

Grace Cossington Smith, 1965

In this painting, short brushstrokes of pure colour animate the pictorial surface, highlighting Grace Cossington Smith’s skill as a colourist. By the mid 1950s the artist had begun to concentrate primarily on domestic interiors, party due to the fact that her much-loved sister had become ill.

From the Gallery Shop


Place where the work was made

Turramurra Sydney New South Wales Australia



Media category


Materials used

oil on canvas on paperboard


91.4 x 73.7 cm board; 103.0 x 85.0 x 5.6 cm frame

Signature & date

Signed and dated l.l. corner, black ink "G.Cossington Smith 55".


Purchased 1967


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Grace Cossington Smith

Artist profile

Works in the collection



Where the work was made

Shown in 15 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 37 publications


Jenny Aland and Max Darby (Editors), Art Connections, 'Art media: materials, techniques, and tools or equipment', pg. 69-80, Port Melbourne, 1998, 78 (colour illus.).

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales picturebook, Sydney, 1972, 108 (colour illus.).

Janine Burke, Australian women artists 1840-1940, Collingwood, 1980, (colour illus.).

Edmund Capon AM, OBE and Jan Meek (Editors), Portrait of a Gallery, 'Australian 20th Century Art', pg. 71-89, Sydney, 1984, 86 (colour illus.), 87.

Joan Chambers and Sophia Watson, Art in the sun, 'Grace Cossington Smith 1892-1984', pg. 32, Brookvale, 2000, 32 (colour illus.).

Mary Eagle, Art and Australia (Vol. 38, No. 1), 'Drusilla Modjeska's "Stravinsky's Lunch"', pg. 65-67, Sydney, Sep 2000-Nov 2000, 66 (colour illus.).

Deborah Edwards, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Mosaic and figure', pg. 213-214, Sydney, 2000, 219 (colour illus.), 302.

Joanna Gilmour, Portrait profile: Grace Cossington Smith, 'Portrait profile: Grace Cossington Smith', pg. 2-7, Canberra, 2009, 7 (colour illus.).

James Gleeson., Australian painting today, 'Introduction', Orange, 1960. 51

Deborah Hart, Grace Cossington Smith, 'Radiance: a state of being', pg. 76-93, Canberra, 2005, 80, 81 (colour illus.), 105, 159, 180.

Glenis Israel, Artwise: visual arts 7-10, Milton, 2004, 128 (colour illus.), 129.

Glenis Israel, Art Wise - Visual Arts years 7-10, Queensland, 1997.

Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian Collection: Painting and Sculpture', pg. 102-181, Sydney, 1999, 160 (colour illus.).

Bruce James, Australian painters of the twentieth century, 'Grace Cossington Smith', pg. 40-51, Sydney, 2000, 50 (colour illus.), 51.

Rosemary Lloyd, Yearbook of comparative and general literature [Vol. 49, 2001], 'Objects in the mirror: gendering the still life', pg. 39-55, Bloomington, 2002, 48, 55 (illus.).

Drusilla Modjeska, Stravinsky's lunch, 'To Paint What She Saw: Grace Cossington Smith', pg. 203-334, Sydney, 1999, (colour illus.). plate no. 40

Barry Pearce and Patrick McCaughey, Twentieth century Australian masterworks from the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Fred Williams Pilbara Series, Tokyo, 1985, 21 (colour illus.). 6

Barry Pearce, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian', pg. 13-35, Sydney, 1988, 30, 31 (colour illus.).

Barry Pearce., Older Australian masters: an exhibition of works by major Australian artists executed in the later years of their careers, 'Preface', Sydney, 1991, (colour illus.). not paginated, no catalogue numbers

Ursula Prunster, Classic Cézanne, 'Seeing Cézanne: Australian affinities', pg. 61-71, Sydney, 1998, 68 (colour illus.), 70. figure no. 33

Ursula Prunster, Australian painters; Seeing Cézanne, 'An era of staunch individuals: the 1940s to 1960s', pg. 9-12, Sydney, 1998, 11, 16(colour illus.), 31. 40

Zoë Ross (Editor), Eyewitness travel guides: Australia, 'Botanic gardens and the Domain', pg. 101-111, London, 1998, 108 (colour illus.).

John Saxby, Look, 'A window opens on new stories about building the collection', pg. 26-28, Sydney, May 2015, 26 (colour illus.), 28.

Linda Slutzkin, Interiors - from the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1981, 12. 18

Alison Small, Art and Artists of Australia, Melbourne, 1981, (colour illus.).

Susannah Smith, Look, 'Mirror, mirror', pg. 46, Sydney, Nov 2015, 46 (colour illus.).

Virginia Spate, Art Monthly Australia, 'Amazing Grace: Thoughts inspired by the Grace Cossington Smith exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra', pg. 22-30, Canberra, Aug 2005, 29 (colour illus.), 30.

Daniel Thomas, Art and Australia, 'Grace Cossington Smith', pg. 300-312, Sydney, Mar 1967.

Daniel Thomas, Art Gallery of New South Wales Quarterly, 'Grace Cossington Smith', pg. 510-521, Sydney, Jan 1970, 523 (illus.).

Judith White, Look, 'In the Steps of the Master', pg. 18-19, Heidelberg, Dec 1998-Jan 1999, 18 (colour illus.).

Judith White, Look, 'Life, love and the woman artist', pg. 22, Melbourne, Sep 1999, 22.

Donald Williams, In our own image: the story of Australian art, Sydney, 2002, 93, 94 (colour illus.).

Donald Williams, In our own image: the story of Australian art, Sydney, 1995, 104 (colour illus.).

1967 Acquisitions, Sydney, 1967, 22. 28

Project 41 - the mosaic, the grid, Sydney, 1983, 4 (illus.). 5

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, 07 Dec 1955.

Editor Unknown (Editor), Daily telegraph and daily news, Sydney, 07 Dec 1955.