Grace Cossington SMITH

Neutral Bay, New South Wales, Australia 1892 – Sydney, New South Wales, Australia 1984

  • England, Europe 1912-14
  • England, Italy 1949-51

Portrait of Diddy c.1922 Place made: New South Wales, Australia
Materials & Technique: drawings, drawing in pastel, charcoal and black pencil Support: paper

Primary Insc: signed lower left in black pencil, 'G. COSSINGTON SMITH' . not dated.
Dimensions: sheet 62.4 h x 47.2 w cm framed (overall) 92.0 h x 68.0 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1974
Accession No: NGA 74.159
  • Purchased by the Acquisition Committee of the future Australian National Gallery, from Macquarie Galleries, Sydney, April 1974.
  • Some of Cossington Smith’s most successful portraits are her tender drawings of family members. Her close bond with her family is evident in her drawings of her father Ernest and her sisters Diddy and Madge, depicted in uncontrived, relaxed poses. In Portrait of Diddy her sister appears meditative, wearing the artist’s favourite colour, yellow. As she said: ‘Yellow is the colour of the sun’. This work was in an extremely fragile condition and is being shown for the first time since entering the Gallery’s collection, thanks to the dedicated efforts of the Gallery’s conservators.

    Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra