Part 1: Important Fine Art
27 November 2013


(1920 - 1999)

oil on canvas

91.0 x 122.0 cm

signed lower right: Arthur Boyd

$100,000 - 150,000
Sold for $108,000 (inc. BP) in Auction 32 - 27 November 2013, Melbourne

Gallery Savah, Sydney
Private collection, Perth, acquired from the above in 1993


Warrah School Society Exhibition, Gallery Savah, Sydney, December 1993

Catalogue text

Featuring the monolithic Pulpit Rock, seemingly set alight in the scorching midday, and towering above the lone figure adrift in a boat on the Shoalhaven River, Fiery Pulpit Rock, Shoalhaven offers a powerful meditation upon the immense physical presence of Nature. A central feature of the Shoalhaven paintings executed during the eighties, Pulpit Rock has been compared by critics to the Mont Saint-Victoire of Cézanne's compositions, and even the haystacks and cathedrals that occupy Monet's oeuvre. Indeed, elaborating upon the religious significance imbued in his repeated use of this motif, Hoff suggests 'in these paintings of Pulpit Rock set between sky and water in an ambience of luminous space, Boyd restates the theme of the cyclic element in nature that had occupied him in the forties.'1

Acknowledging that he is religious 'in the sense that I am overawed by the marvellous things in the world and overawed by the awful things',2 thus Boyd here celebrates the beauty and wonder of the natural world - all the while implying that unless steps are taken to preserve this wilderness for future generations, it will be destroyed: "I'd like to feel that through my work there is a possibility of making a contribution to a social progression or enlightenment. It would be nice if the creative effort or impulse was connected with a conscious contribution to society, a sort of duty or service. I think you have to make something which does involve concepts and ideas."3

1. Hoff, U., The Art of Arthur Boyd, Deutsch, London, p. 78
2. Boyd, cited in McKenzie, J., Arthur Boyd at Bundanon, Academy Editions, London, 1994, p. 43
3. Boyd, cited in Gunn, G., Arthur Boyd: Seven Persistent Images, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 1985, p. 73