An image of Nebuchadnezzar on fire falling over a waterfall

Arthur Boyd

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

Nebuchadnezzar on fire falling over a waterfall

Other titles:
Nebuchadnezzar over a waterfall
Not on display
Further information

According to the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament, Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, was punished by God for his pride and made insane for seven years:

… driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.

Reminded of Icarus, who flew too close to the sun and fell to the earth in flames, Arthur Boyd portrays Nebuchadnezzar as a meteor heading towards a waterfall in the Australian bush. Parallels with contemporary events may also be
drawn. As Robert Hughes pointed out in 1994, ‘Nebuchadnezzar on fire falling over a waterfall clearly related to the acts of self-immolation by protestors against the Vietnam war’.

oil on canvas
183.2 x 175.0 x 2.4 cm
Signature & date

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

Gift of Ms Catherine Palmer 1983
Accession number
© Reproduced with permission of Bundanon Trust