|William Dobell Self-portrait, 1965-66.|
|Portrait of Joshua Smith, William |
Dobell, 1943 Archibald Prize.
Dobell's work is often homoerotic, also satirically erotic, as in his 1936 The Duchess Disrobes (below, left). Of Dobell's three winning Archibald entries, that of 1943, a portrait of fellow artist, Joshua Smith (right), is probably the most unique. It was certainly the most controversial. The decision of the jurors of the New South Wales Art Gallery landed them in court as two other competition artists objected that the painting was not a portrait, but a caricature. The case went all the way to the Australian Supreme Court the following year (it was a slow year). The decision of the judges was upheld, the suit was dismissed. But in its aftermath, the high-strung Dobell became emotionally disturbed, retreating into seclusion and an early retirement. I wonder what he'd done if he'd lost.
|Margaret Hannah Olley, William|
Dobell, Archibald winner, 1948.
|The Duchess Disrobes, 1936,|
William Dobell--erotic satire.
|Mrs. South Kennsington, 1937, William |
Dobell. Not very flattering, but at least
she was allowed to keep her clothes on.
|Dr. E. G. MacMahon, William Dobell, 1959 Archibald Prize winner.|