An image of (Group of Aboriginal people)

Russell Drysdale

(England, Australia 07 Feb 1912 – 29 Jun 1981)

(Group of Aboriginal people)

Not on display
Further information

Russell Drysdale's paintings of Aboriginal people from Cape York Peninsula began as a small series in 1952–53. Prior to this, European artists had often depicted Indigenous Australians as a 'dying race', with ethnographic scrutiny or satirically, reflecting prevalent unquestioned racist attitudes of the time.

From this series, ('Group of Aboriginal people') is a compassionate portrait, regarded as one of Drysdale's masterpieces. Using an extremely pared back image of the Australian landscape as the backdrop, Drysdale depicted this group with the sense of quiet dignity typical of his outback figure subjects.

Place of origin
Cape York, Queensland, Australia
oil on canvas
50.8 x 61.0 cm stretcher; 64.7 x 74.7 x 9.5 cm frame
Signature & date

Signed l.r. corner, red oil "Russell Drysdale". Signed upper c. verso, brown oil ".../ RUSSELL DRYSDALE/ ...". Not dated.

Purchased 2003 to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Art Gallery of New South Wales Foundation, with assistance from Foundation supporters, including the following major donors: Peter Weiss AM & Doris Weiss John & Michelle Landerer The Yeldham family The Dusseldorp family, in memory of Anna Dusseldorp who owned the painting from 1962-2002 John & Inge Grant Maurice & Christina Green Dr & Mrs Hugh Taylor John & Anne Leece Geoff & Vicki Ainsworth Margarete Ainsworth Paul & Valeria Ainsworth Mark & Lindy Ainsworth John & Gail Marshall Andrew & Michele Michael Rowena Danziger AM & Ken Coles AM Isaac & Susan Wakil Mark & Louise Nelson Stephen & Nanette Ainsworth David Gonski AO & Dr Orli Wargon Len Ainsworth Russell & Lucinda Aboud, in memory of Hugh Buchanan May Dr Malcolm Coppleson AO & Patricia Coppleson John L Sharpe Lady (Vincent) Fairfax OBE Elizabeth Ramsden Jim & Janette Bain Bret Walker SC Neville H Grace Mr & Mrs HT Waller Leslie & Ginny Green Michael Gleeson-White
Accession number
© Russell Drysdale Estate