Skip to content

Update from the Gallery regarding COVID-19

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is open. We are observing strict physical distancing and hygiene measures to protect the health of visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Read the latest visit information




Australian art

View More:


My garden



Fred Williams

Australia, England

23 Jan 1927 - 22 Apr 1982


"I repaint other people's paintings. See that there? That's 'Bailed up'. You know, Tom Roberts. I've just taken the figures out and repainted the background."
- Fred Williams 1969

One of Williams' greatest works, 'My garden' was painted in direct response to Tom Roberts' 'Bailed up', underlining Williams' strong allegiance to the Heidelberg School and especially to Tom Roberts, the Australian painter he loved most of all. In a singularly profound homage from one artist to another, Williams transmuted the golden glare of a relatively gentle New England landscape into his own painterly expression of the hot red heart of the continent; acting out his long-held declaration that 'Bailed up' was the most important landscape painting in this country.

Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2000




Media category


Materials used

oil on canvas


152.6 x 183.3 cm; 154.8 x 185.2 x 5.1 cm frame

Signature & date

Signed bot.c., black oil "Fred Williams". Not dated.


Purchased with funds provided by the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales 1999

Accession number


Artist information

Fred Williams

Artist profile

Works in the collection


Shown in 6 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 21 publications


Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales Annual Report 2000, 'Year in review', pg. 8-20, Sydney, 2000, 8, 9 (colour illus.).

Edmund Capon AM, OBE, Art Gallery of New South Wales: highlights from the collection, Sydney, 2008, 102 (colour illus.).

Edmund Capon, Apollo: the international art magazine, 'Lay of the land', pg. 36-42, London, Jul 2013-Aug 2013, 40, 41 (colour illus.), 42. Feature: Australian landscape art

Joan Chambers, Art of the land, Brookvale, 2002, 52 (colour illus.). Children's activities book

Betty Churcher, Australian notebooks, 'Art Gallery of New South Wales', pg. 45-90, Melbourne, 2014, 52, 53 (colour illus.), 254, 255.

David Hansen, Australian Impressionism, 'National Naturalism', pg. 281-287, Melbourne, 2007, 281, 282 (colour illus.).

Deborah Hart, Fred Williams: infinite horizons, 'Dialogues across series', pg. 80-89, Canberra, 2011, 81, 82, 83 (colour illus.), 209, 227.

Hendrik Kolenberg, Look, 'Celebrating Fred Williams', pg. 24-25, Sydney, Nov 2004, 24.

Patrick McCaughey., Age, 'A painter apart', Melbourne, 27 Sep 1967, page unknown.

Patrick McCaughey, Fred Williams 1927-1982, 'Upwey derivatives: major landscapes 1966', pg. 171-180, Kensington, 1980, 172, 180, 181 (colour illus.), 371. plate no. 89

John McDonald, Art of Australia. Vol 1: Exploration to Federation, ‘Individual and national feeling’, pg. 545-610, Sydney, 2008, 582 (colour illus.), 583.

Craig McGregor, In the making, Australia, 1969, 103 (colour illus.), 102-107.

James Mollison (Curator), Fred Williams: a retrospective, Canberra, 1987, 12 (illus.). 59

James Mollison, A singular vision: the art of Fred Williams, 'Painting in the Dandenongs: The Upwey and Lysterfield Series', pg. 86-113, Canberra, 1989, 86 (colour illus.), 87, 89, 91, 158, 253.

Barry Pearce, The Weekend Australian, 'Time makes its judgment', pg. 2-3, Sydney, 12 Aug 2000-13 Aug 2000, 3 (colour illus.). This colour supplement is a 'Review Special' published for the 'Weekend Australian'. It consists of a four-page, colour wrap-around for the 'Weekend Australian Review'. 'The Australian' was the media sponsor for the AGNSW Exhibition 'Australian Icons', for the Olympic Arts Festival 2000.

Barry Pearce, Look: 1953-2003 celebrating 50 years, 'Presenting our own artists: how the AGS put balance into the Australian collection', pg. 42-44, Sydney, May 2003, 44 (colour illus.).

Barry Pearce, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Introduction', pg. 10-16, Sydney, 2000, 11 (colour illus.), 16, 302.

John Saxby, Look, 'Farewell Judith', pg. 56, Sydney, Dec 2015-Jan 2016, 56.

John Saxby (Editor), Look, 'Member profile: Pam Menzies', pg. 10, Sydney, Jul 2016, 10 (colour illus.).

Judith White, Look, 'An artist's homage', pg.18-20, Melbourne, Feb 2000, cover (colour illus.), 5 (colour illus.), 18 (colour illus.), 19, 20.

Judith White, Look, 'A generous gift', pg. 13, Sydney, Oct 2007, 13 (colour illus.).