Skip to main content

In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Gallery is closed to the public until further notice. Learn more

Menu

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, c. 1982

Wes Walters

oil on canvas (frame: 56.8 cm x 51.7 cm, support: 40.0 cm x 35.0 cm)

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.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Dr Joseph Brown AO OBE 2006
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Accession number: 2006.4

Currently not on display

Copyright image request form
Request a digital copy of an image for publication

Artist and subject

Wes Walters (age 54 in 1982)

Arthur Boyd (age 62 in 1982)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Donated by

Joseph Brown AO OBE (4 portraits)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

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.

A quiet moment

Magazine article by Helene Ladomirska, 2006

As Bryan Westwood’s portrait of Brian Dunlop hangs adjacent to Brian Dunlop’s portrait of the philanthropist Dr Joseph Brown AO OBE, we see the artist of one work as the subject of the other. 

We would like to thank our partners.
© National Portrait Gallery 2020
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia


Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
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 both past and present.

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