Tuesday 31 May 2016
Godfrey Miller (Godfrey Clive Miller) (1893-1964)
Slade figure study of a male torso, c. 1930–34
Stamped with John Henshaw’s studio stamp of Godfrey Miller’s estate and numbered “S113”
Pencil on buff coloured paper
Size: (image within the window mount) 19 x 8.2 cm; (frame) 49 x 35.4 cm.
Condition: the sheet is trimmed irregularly at the top edge; the timber frame is unvarnished and has minor signs of its age (i.e. yellow oxidisation, insect specks and dustiness) and the backing sheet should be replaced.
I am selling this very early and rare drawing (in the sense that Miller destroyed/culled most of his early drawings) for AU$1200 including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this original and very early drawing by one of Australia’s most famous artists, please contact me (email@example.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.
(Note that this photo has reflections that are not a part of the drawing)
For me this life class study of a male nude has slight overtones of androgyny and I had to think hard why this is so.
The first reason that sprung to mind is that Miller has erased the arms, legs and face of the figure: arguably, a masculine way of looking at attractive females.
There is also the curious failure to draw the genitals: a missing feature that is possibly a symptom of the age of censure from which this drawing arose rather than a delight in castration.
The third reason has to do with the sensitive treatment of the contrapposto pose (i.e. the S-shaped rhythm passing through the figure) in that, Miller seems to lovingly/tentatively/softly stroke the edges of forms rather than using emphatic/manly/unambiguous marks to portray him. (My sincere apologies if any of the above descriptions of gender attributes are inaccurate or too sweeping in their categorisations.)