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