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Arthur Boyd

1920 – 1999

Arthur Boyd AC OBE (1920-99), painter, potter and printmaker, was amongst Australia's greatest painters. Although he is better known for his landscapes and mythical subjects, and produced relatively few portraits, Boyd made a number of paintings of family and friends, all imbued with his interest in deep human truths. The son of artists, Boyd began making paintings as a boy and developed a vigorous and expressive style. During the Second World War he made paintings depicting a grotesque and unbalanced world; several paintings inspired by early Flemish painters combined religious subjects with current events. In the 1960s, based mainly in England, Boyd embarked on ambitious cycles of paintings based on Biblical and mythological themes. Returning to Australia in the early 1970s, he began a relationship with the landscape of the Shoalhaven River on the south coast of New South Wales. He bought a property there, Bundanon, which he subsequently gave to the Australian people. This was his second great act of public generosity; in 1975 he made an immense gift of his own work to the National Gallery of Australia.

Updated 2018