born Russia, 1897; arrived Australia 1923; died 1958
Children playing, Collingwood c. 1937
oil and pencil on canvas
Purchased with the assistance of the Caltex Victoria Government Art Fund, 1979
Danila Vassilieff settled in Australia in 1935, where he would become a key figure in the development of figurative expressionism.
The working class suburbs of Collingwood and Fitzroy provided ample subject matter for Vassilieff who worked rapidly to capture everyday streetscenes. In 1938, his wife told a reporter:
He does not need to go searching for subjects ... he often has a chat with the children of the neighbourhood and paints them ... he has many friends too with the dogs of the neighbourhood who are always apt to get painted into the street scene.