d’Arcy Doyle was born in Ipswich, Queensland in 1932. He was the youngest of nine children and his father was a train driver. He left school at the age of 13 to become an apprentice sign-writer and this represented his only training in brushwork. d’Arcy Doyle has publicly stated “I’ve never had an art lesson in my life”.
Studies and Background:
Doyle joined the Royal Australian Navy for the duration of the Korean War. After discharge he achieved success in designing and executing sculptures and base relief murals for RSL Clubs and became a full-time painter.
d’Arcy Doyle was both a rugby league and horse racing enthusiast and completed massive wall murals for rugby league clubs and was known to work into the early morning hours so as not to disrupt club business. He has also painted a series of paintings of cricket matches, which were released as limited edition prints by the Queensland Cricket Association.
d’Arcy kept few of his paintings, two however he said that he would never sell. The first depicts an early childhood memory of himself with his father and others in a country street scene. The second is of a racehorse he once owned, “Count Henri” which won $30,000 in prize money.
One of Doyle’s most famous paintings “The Man From Snowy River”, is reputed to have sold in London for $140,000. A recognised art critic said of d’Arcy Doyle that history would be very kind to him and he would be acknowledged as one of the best Australian artists of the 1980’s and 1990’s.
A 1,500 limited edition leather bound book of his work has been produced and was released in Sydney in September/October 1993, at a cost of $500 per book. The entire 1,500 copies have sold out and are now only available at an increased price from investors.
The Ipswich City Council completed a $1 million extension to it’s downtown mall which included a monument to d’Arcy Doyle and a piazza named in his honour – “d’Arcy Doyle Place”. d’Arcy Doyle died in August, 2001.
Solo shows at Sheridan Gallery in Brisbane, Vivian Gallery in Sydney and Greystones Gallery in Victoria. Signed Limited Edition prints of his work are popular and many prints of his work are sold widely throughout Australia.
Parliament House Canberra and Brisbane, Queensland Cricket Club, many institutions and RSL Clubs around Australia, and private collections in Australia, New Zealand and overseas.