Magazine article The Spectator

William Dobell's Cypriot

Magazine article The Spectator

William Dobell's Cypriot

Article excerpt

The Cypriot brought his wine-dark eyes with him

Along with his skin and hair. He also brought

That shirt. Swathes of fine fabric clothe a slim

Frame with a grace bespeaking taste and thought.

Australia, 1940. There were few

Men native-born who had that kind of style.

Hence the attention Dobell gave the blue

Collar and cuffs, to make us pause awhile

And see a presence that did not belong.

This sitter, sitting here, caught by this hand?

Caught beautifully. No, there is nothing wrong

About this transportation to Queensland

Of ancient subtleties. It's merely odd.

A man whom he had loved and seen asleep

The painter painted naked, a Greek god.

But then he had the sudden wit to keep

The clothes, and thus the heritage, in the next

Picture. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.