We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

🛈 Find out what you need to know before visiting


(The expulsion)



Arthur Boyd

Australia, England

24 Jul 1920 – 24 Apr 1999

Artist profile

  • Details

    Other Title
    Study for 'The Expulsion'
    Media category
    Materials used
    pen and black ink on ivory wove paper
    38.0 x 56.0 cm sheet
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Purchased 1996
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Reproduced with permission of Bundanon Trust

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Arthur Boyd

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection


  • About

    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]

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications

    • C Christesen (Editor), Meanjin, Melbourne, Winter 1951, 144 (illus.).

    • Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, Arthur Boyd Drawings, North Caulfield, 1996, (illus.). cat.no. 21; titled (The Expulsion)

Other works by Arthur Boyd

See all 402 works