Painting to me is something of a tightrope act; it is between representation and the other thing – whatever that is. It is difficult to keep one’s balance.
Ian Fairweather, 1963
The central figure of the boy king in 'Roi soleil' asserts his divine status with the gesture of his hand. His image reappears in successive layers on the board, emphasising his presence and authority. The bottom half of the composition
suggests the subject is seated on a buffalo.
The first of Ian Fairweather’s large paintings, 'Roi soleil' was painted in the summer of 1956 when he had just finished building himself a new hut on Bribie Island which, though primitive, greatly improved his living conditions.
gouache on paperboard on hardboard
99.0 x 72.5 cm board; 101.4 x 85.8 x 7.7 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.l. corner, "IF [monogram, grey gouache] 57 [pencil]/ ...".
© Ian Fairweather/DACS. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney
Shown in 12 exhibitions
Macquarie Galleries Back Room Show, Macquarie Galleries, Sydney, 13 Mar 1957–25 Mar 1957
Purchases and Acquisitions for 1957, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 18 Feb 1958–16 Mar 1958
Australian Painting: Colonial, Impressionist, Contemporary (1962-63):
- National Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide 17 Mar 1962–31 Mar 1962
- Art Gallery of Western Australia, Australia 23 Sep 1962–24 Oct 1962
- Tate Britain, England 24 Jan 1963–03 Mar 1963
- National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ottawa Apr 1963–May 1963
- Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver 06 Jun 1963–22 Jun 1963
Fairweather: a retrospective exhibition (1965-1966):
- Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane 03 Jun 1965–04 Jul 1965
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 21 Jul 1965–22 Aug 1965
- National Gallery of Victoria [Swanston Street], Melbourne 09 Sep 1965–10 Oct 1965
- National Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide 26 Oct 1965–21 Nov 1965
- Western Australian Art Gallery, Perth 09 Dec 1965–16 Jan 1966
- Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart 10 Feb 1966–13 Mar 1966
Project 41: The mosaic -The grid (1983), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 25 Mar 1983–24 Apr 1983
Twentieth century Australian masterworks from the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Fred Williams Pilbara series from the collection of CRA Limited, Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum, 04 Oct 1985–06 Nov 1985
New Directions 1952-1962, Lewers Bequest and Penrith Regional Art Gallery, Emu Plains, 08 Feb 1991–24 Mar 1991
Two hundred years of Australian painting : Nature, people and art in the southern continent:
- Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane 01 Oct 1994–27 Nov 1994
- National Gallery of Victoria [St Kilda Road], Melbourne 17 Dec 1994–19 Feb 1995
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 22 Mar 1995–07 May 1995
East of the Sun (1997), The Brett Whiteley Studio, Surry Hills, 01 Jun 1997–17 Nov 1997
Australian icons: twenty artists from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 04 Aug 2000–03 Dec 2000
Ink: Whiteley and others (2006), The Brett Whiteley Studio, Surry Hills, 29 Apr 2006–20 Aug 2006
Referenced in 26 publications
Murray Bail, Mary Eagle, Drusilla Modjeska, Martin Armiger, Joanna Capon and Pierre Ryckmans, Fairweather, Australia, 1994, 99 (colour illus.), 142. plate no. 27
Murray Bail, Ian Fairweather, Sydney, 1981, 128, 129 (colour illus.). plate no. 61; cat.no. 125
Murray Bail, Ian Fairweather, 'The necessity of movement', pg. 130-140, Sydney, 2009, 133, 136, 137 (colour illus.), 138, 254. plate no. 118; cat.no. 136
Kym Bonython, Ross K Luck, Laurie Thomas and Elwyn Lynn, Modern Australian painting, 1950/1975, Adelaide, 1980, 35 (colour illus.).
Jean Campbell, Australian watercolour painters: 1780 to the present day, 'The 1950s and 1960s: Sydney and the abstract painters', pg. 198-213, Sydney, 1989, 200 (colour illus.).
Jonathan Cooper (Editor), The Art Gallery of New South Wales Bulletin, 'Exhibitions', pg. 10-17, Sydney, Apr 1995-May 1995, 12 (colour illus.).
Sue Cramer, Cubism & Australian art, 'This Spiritual Adventure: Postwar Cubism 1950-1979', pg. 154-197, Carlton, 2009, 163.
Paula Dredge, Margaret Sawicki, Steven Miller and Lindsay Parker, S.A. Parker Framing Works, 'Works in the collection with known Parker frames', pg. 27-68, Sydney, 2004, 67 (illus.).
Christine France, New Directions 1952-1962, 'New directions 1952-1962', pg. 7-19, Sydney, 1991, 42. cat.no. 35
Tom Heath, Architecture in Australia [vol. 54 no. 4], 'Ian Fairweather retrospective exhibition', pg. 106-107, Sydney, Dec 1965, 107 (illus.).
Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian Collection: Painting and Sculpture', pg. 102-181, Sydney, 1999, 161 (colour illus.).
John McDonald, Australian painters of the twentieth century, 'Ian Fairweather', pg. 28-39, Sydney, 2000, 32, 33 (colour illus.).
Barry Pearce and Haruo Arikawa, Two hundred years of Australian painting: nature, people and art in the southern continent, Tokyo, 1992, 150 (colour illus.). cat.no. 93
Barry Pearce, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian', pg. 13-35, Sydney, 1988, 32.
Barry Pearce and Patrick McCaughey, Twentieth century Australian masterworks from the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Fred Williams Pilbara Series, Tokyo, 1985, 19 (colour illus.). cat.no. 4
Queensland Art Gallery (Curator), Fairweather: a retrospective exhibition, South Brisbane, Jun 1965. cat.no. 35; not paginated
William Splatt and Barbara Burton, 100 masterpieces of Australian painting, Adelaide, 1973, 174, 175 (colour illus.). plate no. 84
Daniel Thomas, Australian painting: colonial, impressionist, contemporary, 'Contemporary', pg.21-27, Adelaide, 1962, 43, 70 (colour illus.). cat.no. 108
Daniel Thomas, Art and Australia, 'Australian collection', pg. 52-62, Sydney, Jul 1972, 57 (illus.).
Laurie Thomas, Modern Australian painting and sculpture: a survey of Australian art from 1950-1960, 'Introduction', pg. 1-10, Adelaide, 1960, 48 (colour illus.).
Donald Williams, In our own image: the story of Australian art, Sydney, 1995, 147 (colour illus.).
Donald Williams, In our own image: the story of Australian art, Sydney, 2002, 153 (colour illus.).
Project 41 - the mosaic, the grid, Sydney, 1983, 2, 5 (illus.). cat.no. 7
INK: Whiteley and Others, Sydney, 2006. List of works
East of the Sun, Sydney, 1997. List of works
The Adelaide Festival of Arts 1962: Special exhibitions at the National Gallery of South Australia, 'Australian Painting: Colonial, Impressionist, Contemporary', Adelaide, 1962. not paginated; cat.no. 126