During the early 1940s, Arthur Boyd's art changed from poetic, light-filled landscapes and portraiture to a dark, expressionist vision of violence, evil and despair, reflecting his response to the war years. This in turn led to a series in the late 1940s that took inspiration from the Bible, the first of his works to receive a serious critical response.
This drawing is closely related to a painting, 'The expulsion' 1947-48, in the Gallery's collection. As well depicting the story from Genesis of the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, it also features the theme of lovers, to which Boyd returned throughout his career. It reflects also his indebtedness to the western tradition of art, for which the expulsion is a familiar subject.
I see lovers as victims… They suffer from being unprivate, watched. Love becomes guilt because it is frustrated. Pictures with an animal 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 quoted in Grazia Gunn 'Arthur Boyd: Seven persistent images' National Gallery of Australia, 1985 pg. 59-60]
Study for 'The Expulsion'
pen and black ink on ivory wove paper
38.0 x 56.0 cm sheet
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Not on display
© Reproduced with permission of Bundanon Trust
Shown in 1 exhibition
Arthur Boyd Drawings (1996), Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, North Caulfield, 17 Jul 1996–10 Aug 1996