Saturday, February 27, 2010

Hans Heysen - Red Gums of the Far North

Hans Heysen (1877-1968) - Red Gums of the Far North (1930)
Australia $2 Stamp Issued 1974
Wynne Prize Winner 1931

Heysen came from German origins but he gained fame by monumentalising the gum tree in Australian art.  Eucalypts or gum trees were the primary subject of his art, and they were popular with his audience as well.   He made enough money to buy a property near Hahndorf in the Barossa Valley of South Australia prior to World War I - this is an excellent location for sampling the odd glass or bottle of wine these days.  He travelled extensively to paint gum trees, especially in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia, despite the fact that he suffered a fair degree of discrimination due to his German origins during the wars that took place during his lifetime.

His art work is the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the Australian National Gallery in 2010, as he was a key player in Australian art - for respresenting the Australian landscape in an immensely popular way.

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