Object Title
Man in White
Object Name
Grant Macdonald
Date Made
Oil on Canvas
Catalogue Number

Height 75.6 cm x Width 59.7 cm


A portrait painting of a representation of a many standing behind a black wall/table in a white ground. In the immediate foreground at the bottom of the composition is a black band of colour, behind which the figure stands, with the heels of both hands resting on its surface. The man appears tall and attenuated, with a long neck, and an elongated bald head. He is wearing dark trousers and a white, long-sleeved, collarless buttoned shirt. There is a white sphere in the upper right corner. The whole is painted in a hazy manner, as if the figure and sphere are shrouded in mist, with only some features (such as the figure's hands) well defined. The painting is signed "Grant Macdonald '61" in dark pigment in the lower left corner. The painting is housed is a contemporary plain white wood frame.


Grant Kenneth Macdonald (1909-1987) began his career producing theatrical and political portraits for newspapers. His fascination with portraits was a constant throughout his career. He was best known for his meticulously finished portraits that contained a touch of whimsy. Man in White, 1961 is an example of Macdonald’s ability as a portraitist. The work’s restrained colour palette, mannered realism and finely executed techniques help to create a hauntingly eerie atmosphere that leaves the viewer with a sense of uneasiness.