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

Nora Heysen Camille C Gheysens

oil on canvas

102 x 82 cm

Image courtesy private collection

This painting by Nora Heysen depicts Belgian-born composer Camille Clovis Marcel Gheysens (1896–1987), who came to Australia as a wool buyer in the 1920s. Gheysens was a collector of Australian art and a close friend of three-time Archibald Prize winner William Dobell.

This work, now in a private collection, is the first of six portraits of Gheysens in the Archibald with Dobell (1957), Sali Herman (1963), Jon Molvig (1964), Robert Dickerson (1965) and Michael Kmit (1968) all having painted the subject.

It is one of 16 works by Nora Heysen shown in the Archibald between 1938 and 1983. Heysen won the 1938 Archibald Prize for a portrait of Adine Michèle Elink Schuurman (nee Lambert), the French wife of the Dutch consul-general to Australia.