Australia 1911 – 2003
The Budapest String Quartet
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph
Primary Insc: signed and dated on backing sheet l.r., pencil "Olive Cotton '37" titled on backing sheet l.l., pencil "The Budapest String Quartet" artist stamp on backing sheet reverse u.l., red ink "OLIVE COTTON / CALARE BUILDING / COWRA
The Dupain studio was commissioned to photograph the Budapest String Quartet, which conducted a 20-week tour of Australia during 1937. Cotton took a series of informal photographs of the musicians while Dupain arranged them for his more formal portrait. She took this photograph while they played a serenade by Tchaikovsky, and it draws on her own deep love for music: ‘I wanted to get the feeling of a group making music that they loved’. Compared with Dupain’s official portrait, Cotton’s photograph shows each of the men self-absorbed in their playing.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra