When Joseph Burke arrived in Australia as the first Herald Chair of Fine Arts in 1946 he set himself the task of understanding the Australian art world, both past and present. This was not an easy task as Australian art history was just beginning to emerge as a subject. All of Burke's generation, who came to Australia from abroad, such as Ursula Hoff, Leonhard Adam and Franz Philip wrote books and articles about Australian artists. Joseph Burke's papers in the archives of the University of Melbourne demonstrate his tireless activities in the Australian contemporary art world, opening exhibitions, bringing distinguished visitors from abroad and inviting artists and architects to lecture to Australian undergraduates. One of the projects Burke set himself was to write a book on Hugh Ramsay, an artist upon whom he placed high value. To this end Lady Ramsay (Hugh Ramsay's sister in law) gave Burke a sketchbook for the University of Melbourne's collection, which documented Ramsay's first trip abroad to Paris. Burke wrote to her on 15 March 1949, to say that: 'Ramsay is, in my opinion, one of the most distinguished of Australian painters and has not yet had the overseas recognition that he deserves.' My paper will explore Burke's fascination with that most sensual of all early twentieth-century Australian artists, Hugh Ramsay. Joseph Burke occupied the Herald Chair of Fine Arts, one of the earliest endowed chairs in the nation. That a chair of Australian art history should be named in honour of Hugh Ramsay, one of his favourite artists would have enthused him greatly.