David Boyd

In Pursuit Of The Cockatoo 1974

From The Garden In The Wilderness 1974

Blue Roses Burning (Europa Series)

Golden Morning With The Wattle Angel

Piggy Back

Europa & The Cockatoo

Musical Boy

The Private View

Blue Angel Departing

Sweet Angelic Sounds

Reconciliation (adapted from Monoliths 1960)

Spanish Bride


Kneeling Figure With Cockatoo

Girl In Forest


Family Picnic c1970

The Wanderer Dreaming c 1969

War 1966


David Boyd 1924 – 2011

David Boyd was born in Melbourne in 1924, and was a figurative painter, ceramic sculptor and potter.
David Boyd’s art stems from a long family tradition of artistic talent. Acclaimed as a potter in the fifties and sixties, he began his career as a painter in 1957 with a series of symbolic paintings on Australian explorers. Since then, he painted several major series of works, including his powerful Trial series, the Tasmanian Aborigines, the Wanderer and Exiles series.and his Explorer series. Picturing innocence and evil, destruction and creation, his works convey mythical and universal themes. Having won significant international recognition, David Boyd was invited by the Commonwealth Institute of Art, London, to hold a retrospective of paintings at their Art Gallery in 1969.

David Boyd is represented in the Australian National Gallery, Canberra; all State and many regional galleries; the Mertz collection, USA; the Power collection, Sydney; and many major international galleries and private collections in Australia and overseas. Australian War Memorial, Canberra; Queensland University, Brisbane; Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; Ballarat Art Gallery, Ballarat, Victoria; Sydney University (Law Faculty), Sydney; Harold Mertz Collection of Australian Paintings, United States of America; Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane; Lincolnshire and South Humberside Arts, Usher Gallery, Lincloln, England, Fine Arts Department, University of Melbourne; National gallery, Canberra; Adelaide Art Teachers College, Adelaide, SA; Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Law School, University of Melbourne; Newcastle Region Art Gallery; New South Wales; University of New South Wales; Sydney University Power Collection; Bendigo Art Gallery; Graylands College, Perth, Western Australia; National Gallery of Victoria; The University of Adelaide, South Australia; Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales; Bundanon Trust, Nowra, New South Wales; Macquarie University, New South Wales; National Gallery of Victoria, Adam and Eve; Art Gallery Of Western

1924 David Boyd was born in Murrumbeena, Melbourne. Third and youngest
son of artists Merric and Doris Boyd. Studied pottery and painting within
the family circle and also the piano. Entered the Melba Memorial
Conservatorium of Music at 17
1942 Joined Contempory Art Society of Australia. Conscripted into Australian
1944-46 Studied at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and the National
Gallery School on an ex-serviceman’s grant. First exhibition of paintings
with John Yule at the Rowden White Library, University of Melbourne.
In partnership with brother Guy Boyd founded Martin Boyd pottery in
1947 Painting expedition in New Caledonia with author Hugh Atkinson
1948-49 Married Hermia Lloyd-Jones, younger daughter of graphic artist Herman
(Jonah) and Erica Lloyd-Jones. Began pottery career with Hermia.
First exhibition of pottery in Sydney
1950-55 Established pottery studios in London and in the South of France joined
for a time by ceramist and painter Stanislaw Halpern. Travelled widely
throughout Spain. Returned to Australia
1956 David and Hermia Boyd became widely known as leading Australian
potters. Introduced new techniques in glazing and the use of the potters
wheel in shaping sculptural figures. Greatly influenced local potters in
particular Tom Sanders and John Perceval. Major exhibition of ceramic
tiles and sculptures at the Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne
1957-58 Commenced painting ‘The Explorer’ series, exhibited at the Australian
Galleries, Melbourne, and Clune Galleries, Sydney
1959 Started a series of paintings based upon the extinction of the full blood
Tasmanian Aboriginal in the nineteenth century. Took part in issuing the
Antipodean manifesto with Blackman, Arthur Boyd, Brack, Dickerson,
Perceval, Pugh and B. Smith defending the figurative image in
contemporary painting in a joint exhibition in Melbourne. Exhibited
‘The Explorers and The Tasmanians’ in Adelaide
1960 Commenced a series of paintings on the theme of ‘Law and Justice,
The Trial series’. Elected President of the Contemporary Art Society
(Victorian branch), Councillor of the Museum of Modern Art of Australia
1961 First prize Italian Art Scholarship for Australia. Chairman of the Federal
Council of the Contemporary Art Society of Australia
1962 Lived in Rome, continuing ‘The Trial’ series, before returning to England.
Settled in London
1963 First one-man exhibitions in London and Paris of ‘The Trial’ paintings
1964 Revisited Spain and painted ‘Church and State’ series based upon this visit
1965 One-man exhibitions in London and in Australia of ‘Church and State’
1966 Discovered method of using candle flame to create images and named
the technique Sfumato, a word used by Leonardo da Vinci to describe
graduations of a misty tone in painting (although there is no evidence
that Leonardo used a candle flame to achieve this effect)
1967-69 Exhibited Sfumato paintings in London and in Australia, including
Newcastle, New South Wales. Exhibited late Sfumato
and ‘Limbo’ paintings in Adelaide, South Australia. ‘War Games’ in
Sydney, NSW. Visited Boyd Town at Twofold Bay, south coast of New
South Wales. Commenced a series of paintings, ‘The Wanderer’, inspired
by the life of Benjamin Boyd, an Australian adventurer of the 1840s.
Retrospective exhibition of loaned works from various collections in
Australia and Britain at Commonwealth Institute Art Gallery, London,
Edinburgh and Sheffield
1970 Settled in south of France.
1971 First exhibition of Wanderer series was in Adelaide at the
Festival of Arts South Australia. Next at von Bertouch Galleries,
1971 Exhibited ‘The Wanderer’ series in separate sections in three concurrent
London exhibition’s started a series based on mythological ‘Orchard of
Heaven’, first exhibited in Brisbane, Queensland. Visited Australia
1972 Developed theme of ‘The Orchard’ and exhibited series
entitled ‘The Garden in the Wilderness’ in Newcastle, New South Wales.
1973 Commenced the ‘Exiles’ series which formed the latest inclusion in the exhibition.
David returned to France. Developed the theme, ‘The Exiles’
1973 Exhibited ‘The Exiles’ series in London and in Melbourne, Victoria
1974 Retrospective exhibition at Skinner Galleries, Perth, Festival of Arts
1975 Returned to Australia. Retrospective exhibition at
von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle, NSW
1976 Retrospective exhibition at Bonython Gallery, Sydney
1977 Commenced series ‘The Private View’
1978 Developed theme of ‘The Private View’
1979-82 David had Major retrospective exhibitions, Albert Hall,
Canberra. Painted a series of works entitled ‘The Day of the Picnic’
1983 ‘Retrospective Exhibition 1957-82’, a series of seven exhibitions,
Wagner Art Gallery, Sydney
1985 Exhibition ‘Four Seasons’, Wagner Art Gallery, Sydney
1986 Exhibited ‘A Judge in the Landscape’ series, Hong Kong; Wagner Art
Gallery, Sydney; von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle
1987 Exhibition ‘Requiem for the Birth of a Nation’, Wagner Art Gallery, Sydney
1988 Exhibition ‘Antipodean Second Chapter’, Lauraine Diggins Fine Arts,
Melbourne; Lanyon Gallery, Canberra
1989 S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney, ‘Antipodean Second Chapter’
1990 Dedicated to Merric and Doris Boyd, Wagner Art Gallery, Sydney
1991-92 ‘The Clown in the Tree’ series
1992 Survey retrospective exhibitions Wagner Gallery, Sydney; Caulfield Art
Complex, Melbourne; Macquarie University, Sydney; Beaver Galleries,
Sydney, Canberra
1993-94 ‘Metaphors of Trial’ series, von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle
1995 ‘The Legend of Europa and the Cockatoos’, Eva Breuer Art Dealer,
1996 ‘Europa in Australia’, von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle
1996-97 ‘Driftwood’ and the ‘Hierarchy’ series, von Bertouch Galleries; Wagner
Gallery, Sydney
1998 Music and the Angels, Galeria Aniela, Kangaroo Valley
1999 Survey retrospective, von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle
2001 Reconciliation, Eva Breuer Art Dealer, Sydney, NSW

Appointments and Awards

1960 President of the Contemporary Art Society (Victorian branch)
1960 Elected Councillor of the Museum of Modern Art of Australia
1961 First Prize Italian Art Scholarship for Australian Chairman of the Federal
Council of the Contemporary Art Society of Australia.
1993-96 Artist in residence School of Law, Macquarie University, NSW
Academy of Modern Art, Rome, Italy

Selected Bibliography

Bonython, K. Modern Australian painting and Sculpture, Griffin Press, Adelaide, 1960
Bonython, K. Modern Australian Painting 1960-1970, with introduction by Ross K. Luck, Rigby Limited, Adelaide, 1970
Boyd, Martin, Day of my Delight, Lansdowne Press Pty Ltd, Melbourne, 1965
Burr, James & Williams, Sheldon, Sfumato Paintings and Drawings of David Boyd (monograph). Ritchie Dickson Limited, London, 1967
Finlay, D. J. Modern Australian Painting, Beaverbrook Newspapers Limited, London, 1963
Hood, K., Pottery, Longmans, Melbourne, 1961
Luck, Ross K, The Australian Painters, 1964-66
The Mertz Collection, Griffin Press, Adelaide, 1966
Luck, Ross K., Modern Australian Painting, Sun Books, Melbourne, 1969
Parr, Lenton, Sculpture, Longmons, Melbourne, 1961
Pringle, J. D., Australian Painting Today, Thames & Hudson, London, 1963
Smith, Bernard, Australian Painting 1788-1960, and revised edition 1788-1970, Oxford University Press, 1962
Smith, Bernard, Australian Painting Today, University of Queensland Press, 1962
Osborne, Harold (ed.), The Oxford Companion to Art, Oxford University Press, 1970
Benko, Nancy, The Art of David Boyd (monograph), Hyde Park Press, Adelaide, 1973 (with foreward by Judith Wright)
Craig, Edward D., Australian Art Auction Records 1973-75, Ure Smith, Sydney, 1975
Vader, John, The Pottery and Ceramics of David and Hermia Boyd, Mathews/Hutchinson, Sydney, 1977
Benezit, E., Dictionaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Librairie Grand Paris, 1976
Smith, Bernard, Catalogue, David Boyd Retrospective Exhibition, Commonwealth Institute, London, 1969
Marginson, Ray, Catalogue of the Melbourne University Art Collection, 1971
The Antipodean Manifesto, catalogue of Antipodean Exhibition, Melbourne, 1959
Recent Australian Painting, Whitechapel Gallery, 1961
Commonwealth Art Today, Commonwealth Institute, London, 1962
Craig, Edward D., Australian Art Auction Records 1976-1978, Rigby, 1979
Scarlett, Ken, Australian Sculptors, Nelson, 1980
Germaine, Max, Artists and Galleries of Australia and New Zealand, Landsdown, 1979 & 1984
Craig, Edward D., Australian Art Auction Records, Currawong Press, New South Wales, 1982
Craig, Edward D., Australian Art Auction Records – Australian Art Sales, 1987-1989
Fry, Gavin & Gray, Anne, Masterpieces of the Australian War Memorial, Rigby, 1982
Dolan, David, Charles Bannon: Australian Printmaker: An Aspect of Australian art 1968-1982, Angus and Robertson
Smith, Bernard, The Critic as Advocate, Oxford, 1989
Dbrez, Patricia & Herbst, Peter, The Art of the Boyds, Bay Books, New South Wales, 1991
Craig, Edward D., ‘Australian Art Auctions Records 1989-1991’ Vol 7 Australian Art Sales, NSW, 1991 Merric Boyd Studio Potter 1888-1959 Victoria, Hammond, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1990
von Bertouch, Anne, What Was It…, Hunnifords Lane Press, Newcastle, 1989-90
Arnold, John & Morris, Dierdre (eds.), Monash Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Australia, Reed Reference Publishing, 1994
Furby, Paula & Snowden, Betty, The University of Adelaide Art Collections, University of Adelaide, S.A., 1995
Art and Law, vol. 20, no. 2, April 1995, Monash University, Victoria
From Vision to Sesquicentenary, The University of Sydney, 1999
Amadio, Nadine, Introduction to catalogue, Reconciliation, Eva Breuer Art Dealer, Sydney, 2001
Etching House specialise in David Boyd fine art, etchings and prints.


Australian War Memorial, Canberra
Queensland University, Brisbane
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
Ballarat Art Gallery, Ballarat, Victoria
Sydney University (Law Faculty), Sydney
Harold Mertz Collection of Australian Paintings, USA
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
Lincolnshire and South Humberside Arts, Usher Gallery, Lincoln, England
Fine Arts Department, University of Melbourne
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Adelaide Art Teachers College, Adelaide, SA
Monash University, Melbourne
Law School, University of Melbourne
Newcastle Regional Art Gallery
University of New South Wales, Sydney
Sydney University Power Collection
Bendigo Art Gallery
Graylands College, Perth, Western Australia
National Gallery of Victoria
The University of Adelaide, South Australia
Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales
Bundanoon Trust, Nowra, New South Wales
Macquarie University, New South Wales

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

Ceramic Scultpure:
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Art Gallery Of Western Australia, Perth

Department of External Affairs, Canberra
Museum of Applied Arts and Science, Sydney
The Power House; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
Staffordshire Museum, Stoke-on-Trent
Museum of Modern Art of Australia, Melbourne
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
University of Western Australia, Perth
University of Queensland, Brisbane

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