Skip to main content

We’re thrilled to welcome you back to the Gallery from Saturday 6 June. Please see what we need you to do first.

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.

Self portrait, 1945-46

Arthur Boyd

oil on canvas laid on composition board (frame: 93.5 cm x 83.0 cm, support: 71.5 cm x 61.5 cm)

Arthur Boyd AC OBE was amongst Australia’s great twentieth-century painters. Although he is known for his landscapes and mythical subjects, and produced relatively few portraits, Boyd made a number of paintings of family and friends, all redolent of his interest in deep human truths. This intense and searching self-portrait was painted at a time when the artist was reading the novels of Fyodor Dostoevsky, and engaged on a series of works on the agony of war. Although he represented himself as apprehensive and isolated, Albert Tucker took a photo of Boyd with the recently completed work, surrounded by friends in his studio at his family’s home, which captures the sense of the shared creative environment in which this and other portraits of the 1940s were painted.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by the Liangis family 2014

Accession number: 2014.47

Currently not on display

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

Artist and subject

Arthur Boyd (age 25 in 1945)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

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.

Arthur Boyd's studio
Arthur Boyd's studio
Arthur Boyd's studio
Arthur Boyd's studio

Boyd to man

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2016

Christopher Chapman looks at influences and insight in the formative years of 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
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.

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.