Benefactors and devils

When I last pointed to something I’d read which was of interest Rafe wrote “Thanks for Club Troppo Ken, where would we be without access to these great pieces that other people find. Thanks Nicholas!” Well, thanks Rafe. Here’s another great piece in today’s Age – on the relationship between John and Sunday Reed and Sydney Nolan and Albert Tucker.

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15 years ago

Amazing scenes! Note also the bitter feud between Sydney Nolan and Patrick White when they each used their talents and ingenuity to paint obscene pictures of the other, in pigment and words.

Feuds are not confined to artists, there have been some epic dramas involving scientists – Hooke vs Newton, Newton vs ……….(a Frog) and Fleming vs Florey to name a few.

15 years ago

What a compliated life, being patronised. I’d never heard of the Reeds, it all sounds unhealthy and neurotic, and not terribly elevating. Hearing how these lives intersected and why, was somehow disillusioning, (in a minor way). Very melodramatic writing style and dense with inuendo. I’ m exhausted.

david tiley
15 years ago

It was a Melbourne thing, as Patrick White is a Sydney identity in the end.

Sweeney, by the way, killed himself in 1979.

He was named after the Eliot poem, which was used in the late collection of paintings that the article refers to.


15 years ago

Hello Link, it is most likely that the complications arose from the personal entanglements and liaisons, rather than the patronage by itself. In other words, the patronage was at rather less than arms length! (No risque jokes thank you!)

15 years ago

I dunno Rafe: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, however, in art and life, that the bitterest relations develop between the patron and the patronised.”

This universally acknowledged truth, was news to me too, although I guess its not surprising, just depressing. I guess in the days when each of us knew our place, these sorts of relationships worked a little better.