State Library of NSW
Artist and stage designer Desmond Digby enjoyed a long friendship with Australian author Patrick White. White collected Digby’s work, commissioned him to produce covers for three of his books, and dedicated his 1976 novel, A Fringe of Leaves, to Digby.
This painting is a study for Digby’s large portrait of White, which was a finalist in the 1965 Archibald Prize. The finished portrait is held by the Art Gallery of NSW.
In 1973 the Nobel Prize for literature was awarded to White ‘for an epic and psychological narrative art which has introduced a new continent into literature’.