Collection Online

The babe is wise

oil on cardboard
94.2 × 73.3 cm
inscribed in black paint l.l.: Lina
inscribed in pencil on reverse: 'THE BABE IS WISE'(JEAN CAMPBELL) 1940
inscribed in black paint on reverse: THE BABE IS WISE - LINA BRYAN
inscribed in pencil on reverse: Lina Bryans / 9 Queen St Melbn
Accession Number
Australian Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Miss Jean Campbell, 1962
© Courtesy of the artist's estate
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Vizard Foundation
Gallery location
Gallery 7
Level 2, NGV Australia

Lina Bryans was an important part of the modern movement and a member of literary and artistic circles in Melbourne during the late 1930s and 1940s. Her vibrant paintings are characterised by bold brushwork and the expressive use of colour. In 1937, Bryans began painting portraits of her friends. Her most famous work, The babe is wise, is a portrait of the writer Jean Campbell, who had recently published a novel of the same name.