Murrumbeena, Victoria, Australia 1920 – Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 1999
Riverbank 1971-72 Materials & Technique: paintings, oil on canvas
The serpentine beauty of the Shoalhaven River on the NSW south coast has inspired generations of artists beginning with Arthur Boyd.
Invited to take up a Creative Arts Fellowship at the Australian National University in Canberra, Boyd and his family left the grey remnants of a London winter to return to the endless blue skies of his homeland. Arriving in September 1971, the family spent their first Christmas back in Australia at a friend’s riverside property, Bundanon. Ona sweltering summer day that melted his oil paints, Boyd painted the first of his Shoalhaven works - Riverbank.
Boyd was to paint and repaint this landscape for the rest of his life, moving to the neighbouring propertyRiverdale in 1973, and purchasing Bundanon in 1979. This seminal painting captures the beginning of his obsession with the Shoalhaven River, which became the setting for his magical mythical dramas.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra