Arthur Boyd occupies a critical position in Australia’s cultural development in the 20th century with the complex symbolism, spirituality and expressive iconography of his work, capturing and defining Australian culture and society.
Boyd attended the National Gallery of Victoria School (1935-36), but was also taught by his grandfather, Arthur Merric, at the Boyd’s family home at Mornington Peninsula (1936-38). The experience of the Second World War profoundly affected his work, cultivating the pervasive anxiety and symbolism that would typify his painting.
In 1957, Boyd began his Half-Caste Bride series, based on Aboriginal communities he had visited. These works highlighted the dispossessed existence of indigenous people and attracted international attention. He moved to London in 1959, completing the Bride series and exhibiting at the Whitechapel and the Tate Gallery. He returned to Australia in 1971, living and painting at Bundanon, and dividing his time between New South Wales and the United Kingdom until his death.
In 1993 he gifted his property to the Australian Government and many important works to galleries and museums.