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Australian art

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Creation series - Man and the spheres



William Robinson


16 Apr 1936 -


Though success came to William Robinson in mid-career, he seemed on course from the beginning for a kind of greatness. By no means ignorant of the major progressive movements of his youth and maturity, he chose from an early age to pursue what he saw as the inexhaustible possibilities of representational art. From the giddy temptations of Bonnard and the French domestic intimists, he moved to more robust and greatly more externalised passions - his farm and farmyard animals, his family environment and pastoral vicinity, and eventually the scrubby hills of his Queensland Arcadia depopulated of all but a pantheistic presence. Creation series - man and the spheres puts the case for Robinson's status as an artist of the romantic sublime. A more recent body of panoramic machines has tackled the coastal zone of Australian identity, reflecting the artist's own move from hinterland to seaboard.

Art Gallery Handbook, 1999


Other Title

Creation landscape: Man and the spheres



Media category


Materials used

triptych: oil on linen


triptych: 182.5 x 730.5 cm stretcher overall; 186.6 x 741.0 x 5.0 cm frame overall :

a - Part a, 182.5 x 243.5 cm, stretcher

a - Part a, 186.6 x 247 x 5 cm, frame

b - Part b, 182.5 x 243.5 cm, stretcher

b - Part b, 186.6 x 247 x 5 cm, frame

c - Part c, 182.5 x 243.5 cm, stretcher

c - Part c, 186.6 x 243.5 cm, frame

Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r. corner [panel a], black oil "William Robinson 91".
Signed and dated l.r. corner [panel b], blue oil "William Robinson 91".
Signed and dated l.l. corner [panel c], brown oil "William Robinson 91".


Purchased with funds provided by the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales 1994


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

William Robinson

Works in the collection


Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 13 publications


Julian Edmund and Tenison Woods, Symphony of Life, Australia, 1999, 2-3 (colour illus.), 34 (colour illus.). Image appearing on pg. 34 is part b.

Lynn Fern, William Robinson, Sydney, 1995, 10, 203, 205, 207.

Deborah Hart, William Robinson: the transfigured landscape, 'William Robinson's artistic development: an intimate and expansive journey', pg. 22-68, Brisbane, 2011, 35, 62-64 (colour illus.), 65 (colour illus.), 67, 109, 164. Titled 'Creation landscape: Man and the spheres'.

Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian Collection: Painting and Sculpture', pg. 102-181, Sydney, 1999, 171 (colour illus., detail). Image is in detail.

Lou Klepac and William Robinson, William Robinson, Sydney, 2001, 84 (colour illus.), 85-87 (colour illus., detail of each panel), 201.

Barry Pearce, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Earth and paradise', pg. 283-284, Sydney, 2000, 292 (colour illus.), 293 (colour illus., detail of right panel), 301.

Barry Pearce, Look, 'Comparing artists: It can expand perceptions of their work', pg. 12-14, Sydney, Aug 2009, 14 (colour illus.).

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.).

Lynne Seear (Editor), Darkness & light: the art of William Robinson, South Brisbane, 2001, 27 (colour illus., detail), 37, 110-111 (colour illus.), 156. plate no. 51

Judith White, art lovers: the story of the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales 1953-2013, 'Chapter 5: Be part of the art 1988-2000', pp. 111-138, Sydney, 2013, 115, 121, 240-241 (colour illus.).

Judith White, Look, 'Olympians of Australian art', pg. 16-18, Melbourne, Jul 2000, 16 (colour illus.). detail right panel

Judith Wright, Look, 'Building the Collection', pg. 6-7, Melbourne, Apr 1999, 7 (colour illus.).

Susan Wyndham, Look, 'Life in the landscape', Sydney, Jan 2019-Feb 2019, 66 (colour illus.).