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Arthur Boyd

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詳細 2008年10月24日 11:21更新

Arthur Merric Bloomfield Boyd AC OBE (July 20, 1920 – April 24, 1999) was a member of the prominent Boyd artistic dynasty in Australia, with many relatives being painters, sculptors, architects or other arts professionals. His sister Mary Boyd married John Perceval, and then Sidney Nolan. His wife Yvonne Boyd née Lennie, and daughter Polly are also painters.

He was born at Murrumbeena, Victoria. Boyd had no formal training in painting and drawing however he studied with his grandfather Arthur Merric Boyd, the New Zealand born landscape painter. He is represented in all Australian state galleries. Boyd is best known for his experimental and sometimes complex painting of figures and impressionist, pastoral landscapes.


His early paintings were portraits and of Port Phillip Bay created while he was an adolescent, living in the suburbs of Melbourne. He moved to the inner city where he was influenced by his contact with European refugees. Reflecting this move in the late 1930s, his work moved into a distinct period of depictions of fanciful characters in urban settings.

He produced several series of works, including a collection of 15 biblical paintings based on the teaching of his mother, Doris Boyd née Gough. Later he produced a tempera series about large areas of sky and land, called the Wimmera series.

In the 1940s he was a member of the Angry Penguins artistic and literary group. His best-known work is perhaps his Half caste bride series in the 1950s, which he did based on his experiences of having direct contact with Aborigines in Alice Springs in 1951. He represented Australia with Arthur Streeton at the Venice Biennale in 1958. He joined the Antipodeans Group in the Whitechapel gallery.

Avoiding the social issues raised in works such as Half Cast Child and feeling drawn to European styles of painting, Boyd moved permanently to Hampstead, London in 1960. The same year he held his first London exhibition. While here, Boyd entered another distinct period with his works themed around the idea of metamorphasis.

He started another well known series of works, Nebuchadnezzar is 1966. This series was a statement of the human condition and is often considered to be his most beautiful.

He returned to Australia in 1971, as one of Australia's most highly regarded artists. In 1978 he bought properties and settled permanently at Bundanon on the Shoalhaven River, which he donated to the people of Australia in 1993. His creations now focused on the primevial natural settings found in the Australian bush and in later years explored the interplay between human land use and natural wilderness. Boyd was enthralled by his position near the river and by the scale and moods of the valley landscape.

In 1975 he presented several thousand works to the National Gallery of Australia. In 1979, he was honoured with the Order of Australia. He represented Australia at the Venice Biennale again inuIn May 2000, his painting Dreaming Bridegroom I (1957) sold for $957,000. Another painting of the Bride series, Mourning Bride I (1958) has sold for $833,000.


Boyd was a master at manipulating elements to express himself. He developed new techniques when he was still a teenager and later changed technique depending on his preferred style, media, location and what he was depicting.

He would often use loose strokes of thickly coated brushes. He applied paint with his fingers and palm because it is quicker, while the body contact directly connected him with the painting. He believed this allowed for a greater sense of freedom and pleasure from the act of painting.

Selected Works

Arthur Boyd's subjects were often mythical, malformed people and monster, depicting a tragic drama [1].
Creek near Rosebud 1937
The Seasons 1944
The Lovers 1944
David and Saul 1946
Wimmera Landscape 1950
Merric Boyd 1952
Half Cast Child 1957
Moses leading the People 1957
Lovers with a Bluebird 1962
Figure supporting Back Legs 1973
Riversdale Bushland 1976
Flood receding one Winter Evening 1981
Bathers Pulpit Rock 1985


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