Jamieson Valley

Born Wiltshire, England 1890, arrived Australia 1894, died Warragul, Victoria 1923


A member of the creative Boyd family, Theodore Penleigh Boyd was born at Penleigh House, Wiltshire, to parents Emma Minnie and Arthur Merric Boyd. Studying at the National Gallery School, Melbourne, by his final year (1909) he had begun exhibiting at the Victorian Artists’ Society. Visiting London and Paris he met Australian artist E. Phillips Fox, who brought him into contact with French modernist art and artists.

After returning to Melbourne in 1913 Penleigh Boyd exhibited paintings of Europe and of the Warrandyte landscape, where he had settled, and in 1914 won the Wynne Prize for landscape painting. During the war he was badly gassed at Ypres and was invalided to England and Melbourne. He continued to paint, exhibiting with the Victorian Artists Society in 1918 and holding solo exhibitions of his watercolour and oil paintings in 1920, 1921 and 1922.

Infused with his early interest in the painting of J.M.W. Turner and Frederick McCubbin, and a passion for colour, Boyd’s paintings of Australian landscapes had great appeal. Often dominated by a singular tone, his highly controlled palette evoked poetic associations.

Penleigh Boyd’s experience of European art led him to organise a government-sponsored exhibition European Contemporary Pictures, a touring exhibition for Australia in 1923. Boyd was killed later that year in a motoring accident near Warragul, Victoria, aged only thirty-three.