Spectre, c.1939 signed 'Drysdale' lower right oil on linen 50.0 x 39.0cm (19 11/16 x 15 3/8in).
PROVENANCE A gift from the artist to Dr Cedric Swanton, Sydney, circa 1939 Thence by descent Private collection Australian & International Fine Art, Christie's, Sydney, 28 August 2001, lot 33 Private collection, Sydney
The Melbourne-born Dr Cedric Howell Swanton (1899-1970) was a prominent doctor and psychiatrist who established himself in Sydney permanently in 1937. His sister, Lucy Howell Swanton (1901-1981), managed Riddell Gallery in Melbourne from 1937 where she held the first Russell Drysdale solo exhibition in 1938. She continued to represent the artist through Macquarie Galleries in Sydney which she ran alongside Treania Smith (1901-1990) from 1938-1956. Undoubtedly, this is how the introduction between the artist and her doctor brother was made, and thus continued a long friendship. Cedric Swanton built the boat depicted in this painting and he and Drysdale sailed together with Allan McGarrity. Drysdale has portrayed himself pulling on the mainsail, while McGarrity's legs appear behind the boom and the mainsail.
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