An image of The expulsion

Arthur Boyd

(Australia, England 24 Jul 1920 – 24 Apr 1999)

The expulsion

Not on display
Further information

'The expulsion' completes Arthur Boyd’s cycle of biblical-themed paintings which he began in 1944. Based on the Old Testament story of Adam and Eve expelled by God from the Garden of Eden, the figures recall the work of 15th-century Florentine painter, Masaccio. Boyd transposes this early Renaissance pictorial idea into an Australian wilderness.

The focus of 'The expulsion' is not so much the biblical narrative as a poignant depiction of Boyd’s concern for lovers denied privacy, which he had experienced when courting his future wife, Yvonne, after his conscription into the army.

I see lovers as victims …They suffer from being unprivate, watched. Love becomes guilt because it is frustrated. Pictures with animals 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, 1981

oil on hardboard
101.6 x 122.0 cm board; 113.0 x 133.2 x 5.5 cm frame
Signature & date

Signed l.r. corner, black oil "Arthur Boyd". Not dated.

Purchased 1986
Accession number
© Reproduced with permission of Bundanon Trust/Viscopy