Wimmera Landscape

Arthur Merric Bloomfield Boyd

Wimmera Landscape by Arthur Merric Bloomfield Boyd

Details

Artist
Arthur Merric Bloomfield Boyd
Title
Wimmera Landscape
Year
c.1950
Medium
oil on composition board
Size
86 x 119.5 cm
Details

signed lower right: Arthur Boyd

Arthur Boyd’s work reproduced with the permission of the Bundanon Trust

Stock Number
201020

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Provenance

John Martin's Gallery, Adelaide, 1951
The Johnstone Gallery, Brisbane
Grimwade Family Collection, Melbourne
Deutscher Menzies, Sydney, 8 December 2004, lot 17
corporate collection, Melbourne
Deutscher Menzies, Sydney, 25 March 2010, lot 43
private collection, Melbourne

Exhibited

probably, Arthur Boyd retrospective exhibition, David Jones Gallery, 1950, Sydney, 4-16 September 1950

Paintings by Arthur Boyd, John Martin's Art Gallery, Adelaide, April 1951

Further Information

Arthur Boyd first visited the Wimmera landscape around 1950, “this is habitable and inhabitable country... this dry, semi-arid sheep and wheat country, turning yellow and sun-parched in summer with patches of burnt-off stubble or weed, the grass often eaten down to bareness where the stand of hard dry thistles acquires the accentuation of bushes... These are now also landscapes of sparseness [although Boyd invariably includes some sign of life, human or animal: a ramshackle shed, scattered this, dusty sheep, a hunter followed by his slow thirsty dog, some distant houses or even only a bird], of wide skies and unbroken horizons, realized on a new level of refinement.”

(Philip, F., Arthur Boyd, Thames & Hudson, London, 1967)

In the summer of 1948 -49 Arthur Boyd with poet Jack Stephenson undertook a painting trip to Horsham, which resulted in the first of his Wimmera Landscapes. In comparison to the lush, gentle, undulating and familiar countryside of Harkaway and Berwick, the stark, flat and parched Wimmera landscape challenged Boyd to develop a new order to capture the vastness and emptiness of the Australian interior. Boyd caught the infinite horizons and the wheat country through the colours of the Heidelberg School and imbued the landscape with ‘motifs of habitation’. Not surprisingly, his first exhibition of the Wimmera Landscape in 1950 was widely acclaimed, with the National Gallery of Victoria and the Art Gallery of New South Wales both acquiring their first works by the artist. Between 1948 – 1951, he revisited the region, creating a body of work which is now known as the first series of Wimmera painting.  In Wimmera Landscape c.1950, Boyd places the farmer with his horse and cart, together with the grazing sheep and white cockatoos to the fore of the towering Grampians, in a ‘rose-hued’ evening light, creating a sense of romance and optimism.