The hill of the creeping shadow
Germany, Australia, France
08 Oct 1877 - 02 Jul 1968
Hans Heysen first visited the Flinders Ranges in South Australia in 1926 and made numerous subsequent visits, producing a large number of drawings, watercolours and paintings of the area. Drawn to the dry, ancient land, so different to the bush and beachscapes and lyrical pastoral scenes usually depicted by Australian landscape artists at the time, Heysen was one of the first non-Aboriginal artists to create and exhibit a significant body of works of the Australian desert interior. His well-promoted images of the outback with its intense red and ochre colours and austere geological formations helped to introduce new meanings of the Australian landscape to the public, most of whom had never seen the country’s interior.
'It was in the Flinders Ranges that I was made curiously conscious of a very old land where the primitive forces of Nature were constantly evident. The barren hillsides, incised and torn by Nature’s forces, hold a peculiar attraction… It is a land for the draughtsman, and yet at times, it is also magnificently rich and varied in depths of colour and its range of colour schemes.'
Hans Heysen 1932
This work was a finalist in the 1929 Wynne Prize and was acquired by the Gallery in 1929.
From the Gallery Shop
The Hill of the Creeping Shadow, Flinders Ranges
oil on canvas
66.0 x 92.0 cm stretcher; 88.8 x 114.3 x 8.2 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r. corner, brown oil "HANS HEYSEN/ 1929".
© C Heysen
Referenced in 15 publications
Lou Klepac, Parallel visions: works from the Australian collection, 'Hans Heysen / Elioth Gruner / Horace Trennery', pg. 32-47, Sydney, 2002, 143.
Hendrik Kolenberg, Look, ‘Heysen to Heysen: letters across a generation’, pg. 33-36, Sydney, Mar 2012, 34 (colour illus.), 35.
Lionel Lindsay, 150 years of Australian art, Sydney, 1938. cat.no. 304 [Gallery No. 3]
Hal Missingham, A retrospective exhibition of Australian painting, Sydney, 1953. cat.no. 82
Barry Pearce, Two hundred years of Australian painting: nature, people and art in the southern continent, 'Introduction', pg.17-23 (in Japanese), Tokyo, 1992, 22, 159 (colour illus.), 183. cat.no. 102
Barry Pearce, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Earth, sky and paint', pg. 149-150, Sydney, 2000, 153 (colour illus.), 300.
Geoffrey Smith, Sidney Nolan: desert & drought, 'Introduction', pg. 8-11, Melbourne, 2003, 10 (colour illus.).
Society of Artists Annual Exhibition (1929), Sydney, 1929. cat.no. 100; titled 'The Hill of the Creeping Shadow, Flinders Ranges'; priced 250 guineas.
The Sydney morning herald, 'Society of Artists' exhibition at the Education Department', pg. 16, Sydney, 06 Sep 1929, 16 (illus).
Hans Heysen, 'The Flinders Ranges: 'A deviation in Australian landscape painting'', pg. 88-115, Adelaide, 2008, 89 (colour illus.), 133 (colour illus.).
Arid Arcadia: Art of the Flinders Ranges, 'The bones of nature laid bare': Heysen's revelation', pg. 66-85, Adelaide, 2002, 77 (colour illus.), 78, 187 (illus.).
Seeing is believing: the art in photography, 'Landscape & photography', Sydney, 1985. cat.no. 20; not paginated
A century of Australian landscape: mood and moment, Sydney, 1983, 16, 71 (colour illus.). cat.no. 49
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. 72
The Mercury, 'Loan pictures exhibition: three artists: Hans Heysen', pg. 6, Hobart, 19 Aug 1935, 6.