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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

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

Adam Knott (age 27 in 1993)

Arthur Boyd AC OBE (age 73 in 1993)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Donated by

Richard King (16 portraits)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

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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.

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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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.

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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency