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An image of The expulsion by Arthur Boyd

Arthur Boyd

(Australia, England 24 Jul 1920 – 24 Apr 1999)

The expulsion
Media category
Materials used
oil on hardboard

101.6 x 122.0 cm board; 113.0 x 133.2 x 5.5 cm frame

Signature & date
Signed l.r. corner, black oil "Arthur Boyd". Not dated.
Purchased 1986
Accession number
© Reproduced with permission of Bundanon Trust/Viscopy
Not on display
Further information

'The expulsion' completes Arthur Boyd’s cycle of biblical-themed paintings which he began in 1944. Based on the Old Testament story of Adam and Eve expelled by God from the Garden of Eden, the figures recall the work of 15th-century Florentine painter, Masaccio. Boyd transposes this early Renaissance pictorial idea into an Australian wilderness.

The focus of 'The expulsion' is not so much the biblical narrative as a poignant depiction of Boyd’s concern for lovers denied privacy, which he had experienced when courting his future wife, Yvonne, after his conscription into the army.

I see lovers as victims …They suffer from being unprivate, watched. Love becomes guilt because it is frustrated. Pictures with animals or another human figure watching lovers are intended to give the idea of spying, a disturbance, a breaking into the moment
of privacy.

Arthur Boyd, 1981

Bibliography (28)

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Five years on: a selection of acquisitions 1981-1986, Sydney, 1986, (illus.).

Delys Bird, Robert Dixon and Christopher Lee (Editors), Authority and influence: Australian literary criticism 1950-2000, St. Lucia, 2001, front cover (colour illus.).

Christie's, Australia Pty. Ltd., Christie's Australia. Australian, International and Contemporary Painting. Melbourne 22 August 2005, South Yarra, 2005, 53. lot no. 40; titled 'The Expulsion', not dated, oil on canvas, 109.4 x 114.4cm, Estimate: $22,000-35,000; reproduced in colour, this painting is a variation on the AGNSW's work

Christie's, Australia Pty. Ltd. (Compilator), Christie's Australia: Australian and International Paintings, Sydney, Aug 2003, 101. lot no. 79; titled 'The Expulsion', not dated, oil on canvas, 109.4 x 114.4cm; reproduced in colour, this painting is a variation on the AGNSW's work

Laura Critchley (Director), Dynasties: the Boyd family, Sydney, 2003, (colour illus.). This episode of 'Dynasties' was first screened on ABC television on 23 November 2003 at 8:00pm.

Elizabeth Cross, The Naked and the Nude, Ballarat, 2008, 111 (colour illus.), 131. no catalogue numbers

Annabel Davie (Editor), Art and Australia (Vol. 24, No. 3), Sydney, Autumn 1987, 325 (colour illus.).

Harbant Gill, Sun-Herald, 'Naked and the dread', pg. 32, Sydney, 22 Sep 2008, 32.

Dr Ursula Hoff, The art of Arthur Boyd, London, 1986, 43, 113 (colour illus.), dust jacket [back cover] (colour illus.). plate no. 36

Glenis Israel, Artwise: visual arts 7-10, Milton, 2004, 154 (colour illus.).

Glenis Israel, Art Wise - Visual Arts years 7-10, Queensland, 1997, 21, 34, 52, 118, 122, 126, 129, 146, 148.

Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, Sydney, 1999, 154 (colour illus.).

Melissa Keys and Brenda L Croft, Heavenly creatures, Bulleen, 2004, 5, 18 (colour illus.), 30.

Lou Klepac, Australian painters of the twentieth century, 'Sidney Nolan', pg. 136-147, Roseville, 2000, 150 (colour illus.).

Ewen McDonald, The Art Gallery of New South Wales collections, 'From Colonialism to late Modernism', pg. 7-106, Sydney, 1994, 54 (colour illus.).

Janet McKenzie, Arthur Boyd: Art and life, London, 2000, 74, 75 (colour illus.), 76.

Barry Pearce, Southern reflections: 10 contemporary Australian artists, 'An Introduction to Australian Art', pg. 34-42, Sydney, 1998, 38 (colour illus.). 8

Barry Pearce, Arthur Boyd retrospective, Sydney, 1993, 10 (colour illus.), 16, 73 (colour illus.). 56

Barry Pearce, Look, 'The legacy in Sydney Arthur Boyd', pg. 18-20, South Yarra, Jul 1999, 19 (colour illus.), 20.

Franz Philipp, Arthur Boyd, London, 1967, 52, 68, plate no. XVI (colour illus.). 3.17, plate no. XVI

John Douglas Pringle, Australian Painting Today, London, 1963, 62 (colour illus.).

Ursula Prunster, Aspects of Australian art, Sydney, 2000, (colour illus.). card no. 9: Arthur Boyd 'The expulsion' 1947-48

T G Rosenthal., Retrospective exhibition of paintings, drawings and other work by Arthur Boyd: 14 April to 10 May 1969, 'The art of Arthur Boyd', Edinburgh, 1969, (illus.). 12; titled 'Expulsion'

Jill Sykes, Look, 'Small and temporary: but it's a big pointer to the future', pg. 28-29, Newtown, Sep 2011, 29 (colour illus.).

Jill Sykes (Editor), Look, 'About a Boyd', pg. 7, Newtown, Jun 2002, 7. Article with photograph of Tom Rosenthal standing in front of the painting. Rosenthal owned this work until he sold it to the AGNSW in 1986.

Jill Sykes, Look, ‘Barry Pearce’s next book-call it “segueing with intent”’, pg. 28-29, Newtown, Mar 2012, 28.

The University of Notre Dame (Editor), Religion and literature, Indiana, Spring 2007, front 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, 173 (colour illus.), 300.

Exhibition history (7)

Arthur Boyd retrospective exhibition (1964), Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 07 Mar 1964–21 Mar 1964

Retrospective exhibition of paintings, drawings and other works by Arthur Boyd (1969), Richard Demarco Gallery, Edinburgh, 14 Apr 1969–10 May 1969

Five years on: a selection of acquisitions 1981-1986, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 26 Sep 1986–23 Nov 1986

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

Heavenly creatures, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 04 Dec 2004–20 Jan 2005

The naked and the nude, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Ballarat, 13 Sep 2008–07 Dec 2008