An image of Sofala

Donald Friend

(Australia 06 Feb 1915 – 16 Aug 1989)


Other titles:
Sofala Street
Not on display
Further information

"Its single street, deep in the Turon valley is lined with a forest of verandah posts: the whitewash on shanties and abandoned stores cannot disguise their age-hitching posts, spring carts and bearded old-timers drowsing in the shade create the atmosphere of a different world ...".
George Farwell, 1947

Jaded by a frenzied city existence, Donald Friend and fellow artist Russell Drysdale made a trip from Sydney to the Bathurst area in August 1947, prompted by an article in the Sydney Morning Herald about the former gold-rush towns of the area. Stopping in Sofala, described in Friend's diary entry as 'a lovely crazy old village - perfect', the two artists made sketches of the main street from the same viewpoint.
Their respective paintings are a fascinating contrast of temperaments: Friend's quaint and light-hearted in mood, Drysdale's classical and brooding.

Friend was one of a remarkable group of figurative artists, dominated by Drysdale and Dobell and including Sali Herman and Jean Bellette, which flourished in spite of a tendency amongst a number of Sydney painters of the period, towards abstraction.

Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2001

oil, pen and ink on canvas
51.5 x 61.2 cm stretcher; 76.5 x 86.8 x 8.0 cm frame
Signature & date

Signed and dated u.r. corner, black oil "DONALD. 47".

Gift of Margaret Olley 1995
Accession number
© Reproduced with permission of the Estate of Donald Friend. Licensed by Copyright Agency.