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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 in his studio at Bundanon, 1993

Adam Knott

type C photograph on paper (sheet: 41.0 cm x 30.4 cm, image: 35.5 cm x 29.1 cm)

Arthur Boyd AC OBE (1920-1999), painter, potter and printmaker, was one of Australia's greatest painters. The son of artists, Boyd began painting as a boy, developing a vigorous and expressive style. During World War 2 he made paintings depicting a grotesque and unbalanced world; several of his paintings inspired by early Flemish artists combined religious subjects with current events. In the 1960s, based mainly in England, Boyd embarked on cycles of paintings based on Biblical and mythological themes. Returning to Australia in the early 1970s, he began depicting the landscape of the Shoalhaven River on the south coast of New South Wales. He bought a property there, Bundanon, which he and his wife Yvonne gave to the Australian people in 1993. This was his second great act of public generosity; eighteen years before he had made an immense gift of his own work to the National Gallery of Australia. In 1995, Boyd was Australian of the Year; he remains the only visual artist to have been honoured in this way.

Australian of the Year 1995

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Richard King 2008
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
© Adam Knott

Accession number: 2008.50

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Adam Knott (age 27 in 1993)

Arthur Boyd (age 73 in 1993)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Donated by

Richard King (16 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.

Self portrait, 1945-46 Arthur Boyd
Self portrait, 1945-46 Arthur Boyd
Self portrait, 1945-46 Arthur Boyd
Self portrait, 1945-46 Arthur Boyd

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.

We would like to thank our partners.
© National Portrait Gallery 2020
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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.