Sir Russell Drysdale AC (1912-1981) developed eye trouble in 1929, and had to leave boarding school for the first of many eye treatments that left him fearful of total blindness. Over the 1940s and 50s Drysdale produced a series of stark, foreboding paintings of the landscapes, towns and people of outback and rural Australia, amongst which are many of the best-known images in Australian art. In 1962 Drysdale's son took his own life; Drysdale's wife, inconsolable, did the same in 1963. In 1964 Drysdale and his second wife, Maisie, a lifelong friend, built a house in the Bouddi National Park, not far from Tallow Beach. A period of stability followed, and Drysdale was able to produce a further body of significant work over the next fifteen years.