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Update from the Gallery regarding COVID-19

In line with decisions made by the National Cabinet as communicated by the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, the Art Gallery of New South Wales is currently closed but will reopen to the public on 1 June. The Gallery will be observing strict physical distancing and hygiene measures to protect the health of all visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the State. More information




Australian art

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Desert landscape



Russell Drysdale

England, Australia

07 Feb 1912 - 29 Jun 1981


Other Title

Rocky landscape



Media category


Materials used

oil on canvas


102.9 x 128.3 cm stretcher; 122.5 x 147.0 x 6.5 cm frame

Signature & date

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


Purchased 1959


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Russell Drysdale

Artist profile

Works in the collection


Shown in 9 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 21 publications


Christine Dixon and Terry Smith, Aspects of Australian figurative painting 1942-1962: dreams, fears and desires, 'Discussion of the images', pg. 71-90, Sydney, 1984, 68 (illus.), 78, 94. plate no. 53

Geoffrey Dutton, Russell Drysdale, 'Russell Drysdale - the man and his work', pg. 7-84, London, 1964, 50, 149 (illus.), 189. plate no. 79

Edwards and Shaw (Printer), Russell Drysdale: retrospective exhibition 1937 - 1960, Sydney, 1960. 75

Paul Haefliger, The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Sydney group show is exciting', pg. 2, Sydney, 30 Jul 1952, 2.

Roslynn Haynes, Seeking the Centre, ''On the tracts of thirst and furnace': dead explorers and national identity', pg. 111-128, Cambridge, 1998, 112-13 (colour illus.).

Lou Klepac, The life and work of Russell Drysdale, Kensington, 1983, 302 (colour illus.), 368. plate no. 118

Sandra McGrath and John Olsen, The artist & the desert, Sydney, 1981, 56 (colour illus.).

Ross Mellick and Nick Waterlow, Spirit and place: Art in Australia 1861-1996, Sydney, Nov 1996, 91 (illus.).

Vincent Fairfax and Russell Drysdale, Russell Drysdale, a lecture: Impressions of a painter in Europe today, Sydney, Dec 1959, cover (illus.).

Hal Missingham (Director), Purchases and acquisitions for 1959, Sydney, 1959, 8, (illus.). 10

Sarah Scott, Seize the day: exhibitions, Australia and the world, 'A colonial legacy: Australian painting at the Tate Gallery, London, 1963', pg. 19.1-19.22., Clayton, 2008, 19.9.

Geoffrey Smith, Russell Drysdale 1912-1981, Melbourne, 1997, 136, 137 (colour illus.). 52

William Splatt and Susan Bruce, 100 masterpieces of Australian landscape painting, Melbourne, 1986, 186, 187 (colour illus.). plate no. 90

Wendy Symonds (Editor), Look, Heidelberg, 10 (illus.).

Daniel Thomas AM and Paul Haefliger, Russell Drysdale; a retrospective exhibition of paintings from 1937 to 1960, Sydney, 1960, 39 (illus.), 59. plate no. 23; 75

Daniel Thomas, Hemisphere, 'Drysdale's art changed the Australian outlook', pg. 12-18, Sydney, Nov 1960, cover (illus.), 18 (illus.).

Clive Turnbull, Jean Campbell and Daniel Thomas AM, Australian painting: colonial, impressionist, contemporary, Adelaide, 1962, 42. 102

Judith White, Look, 'Russell Drysdale speaks: his thoughts from 55 years ago', pg. 34-36, Sydney, Jul 2014, 35 (colour illus.).

The Adelaide Festival of Arts 1962: Special exhibitions at the National Gallery of South Australia, 'Australian Painting: Colonial, Impressionist, Contemporary', Adelaide, 1962. not paginated, 120

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Times, Our Adelaide Correspondent, 'Australian art - Colonial to Contemporary', pg. 15, London, 28 Mar 1962, 15 (illus.).

Editor Unknown (Editor), Australian art masterpieces, South Yarra, 1984, (colour illus.). plate no. 105