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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.

The Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

Hans Heysen

1960 (cast 2004)
John Dowie AM

cast bronze (including base: 45.5 cm x 21.5 cm depth 26.0 cm)

Sir Hans Heysen OBE (1877–1968), one of Australia's best known landscape painters, arrived in Adelaide from his native Germany as a child. After spending four years studying in Paris, Heysen held his first solo exhibition at Melbourne's Guild Hall in 1908. His career grew steadily and he was able to purchase a property near Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills, where he lived for the rest of his life. Specialising in depictions of bush landscapes, Heysen's works feature his distinctive gum trees and reveal his fascination with the Australian light and sky. His popularity was such that Art in Australia ran two special Heysen issues in the 1920s and he won the Wynne Prize for landscape nine times between 1904 and 1932. In 1926 he first visited the Flinders Ranges and returned many times, making paintings of the rocky, dry landscape. Appointed to the Board of the Art Gallery of South Australia in 1940, he served for a record 28 years until his death.

This is one of John Dowie's finest busts, made when Heysen was 83. As Dowie noted in 1960, 'The sculptor is not interested in making eyes and nose and mouth … what he is doing is making his clay or his stone take up forms which will reveal the appearance and mood of the subject.'

Purchased with funds from the Basil Bressler Bequest 2004
© Estate of John Dowie

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

John Dowie AM (age 45 in 1960)

Sir Hans Heysen OBE (age 83 in 1960)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Supported by

Basil P. Bressler (48 portraits supported)

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ABN: 54 74 277 1196

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.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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