Artist Biography


David Boyd was an Australian painter and another prodigiously talented member of the Boyd family. David Boyd paintings are best known for their fluid landscapes depicting themes from colonial history. Born in Melbourne in 1924, he studied music at the Melbourne Conservatorium until conscripted into the army in 1942. On leaving the army in 1944, he switched from studying music to studying art and enrolled at the Victorian National Gallery Art School.

Boyd’s first distinction was as a potter, briefly, with the Martin Boyd Pottery and then with his wife Hermia. The pair held their first exhibition in Sydney in 1948 and during the 50s and 60s came to be regarded as the leading potters in Australia. David Boyd’s first serious painting commenced with the Explorer series, a group of symbolic paintings of the Australian explorers.

A storm of controversy erupted in Australia over these paintings and also over his subsequent work, which was based on the tragic history of the Tasmanian Aborigines. “Monoliths”, a painting from this series, won him the Italian Government Art Scholarship Prize for Australia in 1961. David Boyd moved to Rome with his wife and family in 1962 and he continued painting this series.

David Boyd paintings from “The Tasmanians” were exhibited to critical acclaim in solo exhibitions in London and Paris in 1963. Since then Boyd has held many major exhibitions throughout Australia, England and France. His work has been included in numerous international exhibitions and is represented in major public art galleries, museums and university collections throughout the world. He died in 2011. Find out more about David Boyd paintings here.

Queensland University, Brisbane
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
Ballarat Art Gallery, Ballarat, Vic
Sydney University (Law Faculty), Sydney
Harold Mertz Collection of Australian Paintings, USA
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
Lincolnshire and South Humberside Arts, Usher Gallery, Lincoln, England
Fine Arts Department, University of Melbourne
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Adelaide Art Teachers College, Adelaide, SA
Monash University, Melbourne
Law School, University of Melbourne
Newcastle Regional Art Gallery
University of New South Wales, Sydney
Sydney University Power Collection
Bendigo Art Gallery
Graylands College, Perth, Western Australia
National Gallery of Victoria
The University of Adelaide, South Australia
Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales
Bundanon Trust, Nowra, New South Wales
Macquarie University, New South Wales