Jeffrey Smart

Stop 14 of 32

A painting of a nude woman relaxing against a wall on a rooftop. Buildings and a large sign rise into a blue sky behind her.

Jeffrey Smart
On the roof, Taylor Square

Creation date: 1961

On the roof, Taylor Square
1961 Gadigal Country/Sydney
oil on canvas mounted on hardboard
61 x 50.2 cm
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Purchased 1969
© The Estate of Jeffrey Smart
1969.162


The pose of the woman in On the roof, Taylor Square echoes the sleeping figures in the early Italian Renaissance painter, Piero della Francesca’s fifteenth-century fresco The Resurrection. The tilt of her head and closed eyes suggest she is in her own dream world. The composition also presents the simple yet effective use of the mathematical formula of the golden mean. An arrangement of rectangles forms the backdrop to the sunbathing woman while the black clothing draped between her legs is wryly positioned at the focal point dictated by the ratio.