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 Hans Heysen  (1877 - 1968)

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Lived/Active: Australia/Germany      Known for: landscape with sheep and cattle and still life painting, atmospherics

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Ad Code: 3
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Bushfire, Hahndorf, South Australia (1912)
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Sir Hans Heysen was a well-known German Australian artist. He was particularly recognized for his watercolours of the Australian bush. He won the Wynne Prize* for landscape painting a record nine times.

Wilhelm Ernst Hans Franz Heysen was born in Hamburg, Germany. He migrated to Adelaide in South Australia with his family in 1884 at the age of 7. As a young boy Heysen showed an early interest in art. At 14 he left school to work with a hardware merchant, later studying art during nights at Art School in his spare time.

In 1912 Hans Heysen had earned enough from his art to purchase a property called "The Cedars" near Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills, which remained as his home until his death in 1968 aged 90. Hans Heysen is best remembered for his remarkable paintings depicting sheep and cattle among massive gum trees against a background of stunning atmospheric effects of light.

The Heysen Trail was named after Sir Hans Heysen.
His daughter Nora Heysen was also a successful artist.
Heysen won the Wynne Prize nine times. His winning works were:
    •    1904 - Mystic Morn
    •    1909 - Summer (watercolour)
    •    1911 - Hauling Timber
    •    1920 - Toilers (watercolour)
    •    1922 - The Quarry (watercolour)
    •    1924 - Afternoon in Autumn (watercolour)
    •    1926 - Farmyard, Frosty Morning
    •    1931 - Red Gums of the Far North (watercolour)
    •    1932 - Brachina Gorge

In 1945, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for service as trustee of the Hobart National Gallery.
In 1959 he was made a Knight Bachelor for service to art.


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