Catalogue entry

Russell Drysdale born 1912 [- 1981]

N05986 War Memorial 1950

Inscribed 'Russell Drysdale' b.r.
Oil on canvas, 26 x 40 (66 x 102)
Purchased from the artist through the Leicester Galleries (Knapping Fund) 1951
Exh: Russell Drysdale, Macquarie Galleries, Sydney, August 1950 (9); Russell Drysdale, Leicester Galleries, London, December 1950 (12)
Lit: Joseph Burke, The Paintings of Russell Drysdale (Sydney n.d.), pp.14, 52 (dated 1950)
Repr: Illustrated London News, CCXVII, 1950, p.1005; Geoffrey Dutton, Russell Drysdale (London 1964), pl.59 (dated 1950)

The artist wrote on 11 August 1956 that '"War Memorial" was painted in 1949 in Sydney. The subject is of no particular township but rather is representative of the small bush community with its cheap, cast figure (there must be hundreds of them) looking completely unreal and out of key'. However it appears in his own list of his paintings and their owners compiled in 1951 (published in Burke, op. cit.) as a work of 1950.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.179, reproduced p.179