(Australia, England 24 Jul 1920 – 24 Apr 1999)
183.5 x 175.9 cm stretcher
According to the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament, Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, was punished by God for his pride and made insane for seven years:
… driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.
Reminded of Icarus, who flew too close to the sun and fell to the earth in flames, Arthur Boyd portrays Nebuchadnezzar as a meteor heading towards a waterfall in the Australian bush. Parallels with contemporary events may also be
drawn. As Robert Hughes pointed out in 1994, ‘Nebuchadnezzar on fire falling over a waterfall clearly related to the acts of self-immolation by protestors against the Vietnam war’.
Roger S Magnusson, Angels of death: exploring the euthanasia underground, Carlton South, 2002, front cover (colour illus., detail), back cover (colour illus.).
Natalie Wilson, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Out of Melbourne: realisms and mythologies', pg. 163-164, Sydney, 2000, 164, 182 (colour illus., detail), 183 (colour illus.), 300.
Lou Klepac, Australian painters of the twentieth century, 'Sidney Nolan', pg. 136-147, Roseville, 2000, 155 (colour illus.).
Janet McKenzie, Arthur Boyd: Art and life, 'Collaborative projects', pg.130-55, London, 2000, 139-140, 141 (colour illus.), 143.
Rob Ditessa', Artist's palette, 'Icons on show', pg. 54-59, Sydney, 2000, 54-55 (colour illus.).
Rosemary Clark, Mary Hoban and Lisa Lim, The collection of 1999 Australian stamps, 'Australian legends - Arthur Boyd, AC, OBE', pg. 18-19, Australia, 1999, 18 (colour illus.), 19.
Barry Pearce, Look, 'The legacy in Sydney Arthur Boyd', pg. 18-20, South Yarra, Jul 1999, 19 (colour illus.), 20.
Campbell Reid (Editor), The Weekend Australian, Surry Hills, 01 May 1999-02 May 1999, 23, 24 (colour illus.).
Fernanda Eberstadt, When the Sons of Heaven Meet the Daughters of Earth, London, 1997, cover.
Rosemary Clark, Collection of 1994 Australian Stamps, 1994, 16 (illus.).
Barry Pearce, Arthur Boyd retrospective, Sydney, 1993, cover (colour illus.), 108 (colour illus.). cat.no. 108
Sam Neill, Celebrity choice: Sam Neill, Sydney, 1987, front cover (colour illus.). catalogue entry; no catalogue numbers; not paginated
T.S.R. Boase, Nebuchadnezzar, 18 drawings and 34 paintings, London, 1972, 20-21 (colour illus.). plate no. 4
Celebrity Choice - Sam Neill, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 08 Jan 1987–08 Feb 1987
Arthur Boyd retrospective (1993-1994):
Australian icons: twenty artists from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 04 Aug 2000–03 Dec 2000