Hans HEYSEN | A lord of the bush

Germany 1877 – Australia 1968
Australia from 1884; Europe, England 1899-1903

A lord of the bush 1908
oil on canvas
134.5 (h) x 105.3 (w) cm
Felton Bequest, 1908, National Gallery of Victoria


In A lord of the bush 1908 the central focus is a single tree, accentuating its grandeur. It was based on Heysen’s experiences at Gumeracha in the Adelaide Hills, where he stayed for some weeks at the end of 1907. Heysen was struggling with A lord of the bush when the Adelaide-born Scottish artist Edward Hornel visited Adelaide. He suggested a much freer use of the palette knife to give a greater purity to the tree trunk and a feeling of breadth to the foreground. But the palette knife technique did not come readily to Heysen, and he used it sparingly in most of his later oils.[1]

[1] Colin Thiele, Heysen of Hahndorf, Adelaide: Rigby, 1968, p 109