St Francis and the revels in Assisi
24 Jul 1920 - 24 Apr 1999
Boyd's initial lessons in etching were with celebrated printmaker Jessie Trail at her Melbourne studio in the 1930s. However, it was not until his move to London in 1959 that he became absorbed with the expressive possibilities of printmaking, recognising this medium as indivisible from his work as a whole:
"I think it's a very good idea to be able to turn to a number of different techniques ... A new medium offers the artist a variety of keys; it allows him to re-state and sum-up without repeating himself."
- Arthur Boyd 1972
His first dry-point prints, including 'The birth of the Southern Cross' 1962-63, were made using a Stanley knife, scoring soft copper plates to create deep, richly-textured, etched lines, often overlaid with subtle areas of aquatint. Themes and images which were the mainstream of his paintings between 1941 and 1944 are reworked in etchings and lithographs made during 1962-63 and 1968-69.
These led to the publication of print sets where Boyd collaborated with historian T.S.R. Boase and poet Peter Porter over the ensuing two decades, exploring subjects which included 'St Francis of Assisi' 1964-65, 'Lysistrata' 1970, and 'Jonah' 1972-73, confirming his continuing passion for the ideas and literature of Europe.
Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2000
St. Francis and the Revels of Assisi
St. Francis When Young Turning Aside
lithograph, printed in black ink on paper
50.9 x 63.0 cm platemark; 57.2 x 79.0 cm sheet
Signature & date
Signed l.r., pencil "Arthur Boyd". Not dated.
Anonymous gift 1993
Not on display
© Reproduced with permission of Bundanon Trust
Shown in 2 exhibitions
Arthur Boyd: Lithographs, etchings and engravings (1969), Maltzahn Gallery, London, London, 21 Oct 1969–10 Nov 1969
Arthur Boyd retrospective (1993-1994):
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 15 Dec 1993–06 Mar 1994
- National Gallery of Victoria [St Kilda Road], Melbourne 30 Mar 1994–23 May 1994
- Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart 09 Jun 1994–21 Aug 1994
- Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth 22 Sep 1994–20 Nov 1994
Referenced in 7 publications
T.S.R. Boase, St Francis of Assisi, London, 1968, (illus.). plate no. I (following p.12)
Darleen Bungey, Arthur Boyd: A life, Sydney, 2007, 420-2.
Darleen Bungey, Arthur Boyd: A life, Sydney, 2007, 420-422. NOTE: General information about series
Maltzahn Gallery, London, Arthur Boyd : lithographs, etchings and engravings, London, 1969. cat.no. 1; not paginated
Janet McKenzie, Arthur Boyd: Art and life, 'Collaborative projects', pg.130-55, London, 2000, 134, 135 (illus.). NOTE: this edition number is from Australian Galleries, Melbourne
Barry Pearce, Arthur Boyd retrospective, Sydney, 1993, 154. cat.no. 170
Margaret Pont, Arthur Boyd & Saint Francis of Assisi: pastels, lithographs & tapestries, 1964-1974, ‘Chapter four: The Franciscan lithographs and their production’, pg. 79-82, South Yarra, 2004, 12, 79 (illus., detail), 80, 91 (illus.). plate no. XXXII; Also known as 'St. Francis When Young Turning Aside'; Image courtesy of the Bundanon Trust, NSW