An image of Aboriginal stockmen

Russell Drysdale

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

Aboriginal stockmen

Other titles:
Station boys
Not on display
Further information

In 1951 Russell Drysdale travelled to Cape York Peninsula in northern Queensland where he developed an interest in Indigenous Australians as a subject for his work. Many of the paintings he produced during this time depict Aboriginal subjects in urban and rural settings, and reveal the artist’s objective compassion toward the people he met and painted. These works formed a significant social comment on the sense of displacement experienced by Indigenous people during the early 1950s in Australia.

'Aboriginal stockmen' emanates from this period and presents two young Indigenous Australian stockmen standing side-by-side in a photographic-type format. Portraying the young men at a close proximity – in comparison to related works, such as ('Group of Aboriginal people') (1953) – the painting establishes a more intimate connection between its subject and the viewer.

circa 1953
oil on canvas
76.5 x 60.9 cm stretcher; 87.8 x 72.5 cm frame
Signature & date

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

Gifted by Ausgrid on behalf of the NSW Government 2013
Accession number
© Estate of Russell Drysdale