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Drawn From Life – John Olsen


Author John Olsen

Publisher Duffy and Snellgrove

Price AUD$ 60.00      

Published in 1997

In 1957 a
Sydney businessman who recognised the immense talent of the young John
Olsen paid him to go to Majorca and paint. The businessman sold most of
the paintings for a profit and Olsen was transformed by the influences
of European art and the Mediterranean. In Majorca Olsen began a journal,
which he has continued ever since, a fluid combination of words and drawings
recording the events of an extraordinarily rich life.

This book
is based on these journals, and reproduces many of the drawings from them.
Olsen's life has been marked by a generosity of spirit, by the vitality
of his friendships with men, including many of Australia's leading painters,
and with women, and by his personal struggles which have led to some of
the greatest works of Australian landscape painting.

These include
his Lake Eyre paintings and more recent works such as Golden Summer, Clarendon.
His mural, Salute to Five Bells, inspired by Kenneth Slessor's poem, is
in the Sydney Opera House.

'John Olsen
is Australia's greatest living painter. He is also a great raconteur.
I loved this book.' Alistair McAlpine

  • Stories
    about Sidney
    Nolan, Fred
    Williams, William
    Dobell, Albert
    Tucker, Judy
    Cassab, Paul
    Keating, Rudy
    Komon . . . Olsen has known them all.
  • The struggle
    to blend the influences of European art, abstract expressionism, and
    the Australian landscape.
  • His crowded
    personal life.
  • The book
    is printed in two colours and contains sixty of the drawings from the
    journals interspersed with the text.
  • Sixteen
    pages of full colour reproductions.

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