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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Arthur Boyd’s Mysterious Eyes

6 May 2016

The National Portrait Gallery has unveiled a focus exhibition of captivating portraits by renowned artist Arthur Boyd, titled Mysterious eyes: Arthur Boyd portraits from 1945.

Consisting of nine works, the evocative display brings together a collection of portraits of individuals close to Boyd. Painted when he was 25, these portraits show how his treatment of the subjects reflected his own state of mind.

Senior Curator at the Portrait Gallery, Dr Christopher Chapman, felt inspired by this period in Boyd’s life when his paintings expressed his deep psychological feelings.

‘In these portraits painted by Arthur Boyd, the eyes suggest deep emotional feelings – whether they stare out at you and I, or glance away. In young Arthur’s self-portrait his furrowed brow and steady glare convey his determined and serious look at the world,’ said Christopher.

‘At age 25 Arthur made a series of expressionist-styled portraits of those around him. The portraits are perceptive of their subject’s character and a strong reflection of Arthur’s own view of others as individuals with intense and complex feelings.

‘The Gallery owns three portraits from this time which provided a great opportunity to show these works with others from the National Gallery and Bundanon Trust together as a survey of how Arthur viewed himself and others – as a young man.’

The exhibition includes five works from the National Gallery of Australia and one from Bundanon Trust.

Mysterious eyes will be on display in Gallery One until 14 August 2016.

For interviews or images from the exhibition please contact:

Diane Morris
Assistant Manager, Marketing and Communications
02 6102 7080 / 0408 491 545
diane.morris@npg.gov.au

1 . Self portrait 1945-1946 All Arthur Boyd AC OBE. © Arthur Boyd Arthur Boyd’s work reproduced with the permission of Bundanon Trust bundanon.com.au.

Related people

Arthur Boyd AC OBE

Related information

Self Portrait in red shirt, 1937 by Arthur Boyd
Self Portrait in red shirt, 1937 by Arthur Boyd
Self Portrait in red shirt, 1937 by Arthur Boyd
Self Portrait in red shirt, 1937 by Arthur Boyd

Arthur as Alyosha?

Magazine article by Patrick McCaughey, 2015

Patrick McCaughey explores a striking Boyd self portrait.

Artist and wife near Arthurs Seat, 1969
Artist and wife near Arthurs Seat, 1969
Artist and wife near Arthurs Seat, 1969
Artist and wife near Arthurs Seat, 1969

Through blue eyes

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2009

Works by Arthur Boyd and Sidney Nolan bring the desert, the misty seashore and the hot Monaro plains to exhibition Open Air: Portraits in the landscape.

Self portrait
Self portrait
Self portrait
Self portrait

Mysterious eyes

Arthur Boyd portraits from 1945

Previous exhibition, 2016

Boyd’s self-portrait at age 25 is joined by his equally emotive portraits of those around him.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

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