Hay Making – SOLD

Available at: SOLD

Detail photos for this Artwork

This delightful pastel drawing “Hay Making” by the iconic Sir Hans Heysen shows his excellent mastery of drawing and the confident rendering of form and perspective he applied to all his beautiful works in pastel and charcoal.

Heysen portrayed several subjects in his life including idyllic rural landscapes, majestic gum trees, grazing cattle and sheep, renditions of the stark beauty of the Flinders Ranges, and artworks that depicted his local community around his home “The Cedars”, near Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills, a predominantly farming community.

From about 1918 the main focus in his art shifted from purely representing landscapes to portraying rural workers, particularly the men and animals in the fields and farms around Hahndorf. Heysen spent a great deal of time walking around his property and the local community, and on his frequent early morning walks into Hahndorf to collect his mail.

During these walks he keenly observed nature, livestock, the light, colours, and day to day activities amongst the local farmers. He developed strong connections with people he knew from local farms and often depicted them in his paintings or requested they model for him.

Two magnificent draught horses (one brown and one white) called Polly and Jack feature in several of his paintings and drawings, and were favourite subjects of Heysen’s.  Polly and Jack were owned by a local farmer, known as old Kramm who came with his horses to do the ploughing at Heysen’s property, The Cedars.

Polly and Jack feature in Heysen’s important watercolour from 1920 “The Toilers” which was awarded the prestigious Wynne Prize. “The Toilers” was one of Heysen’s favourite works which he held all his life and which he bequeathed to the Art Gallery of South Australia in 1969.

In this delightful pastel “Hay Making” we see Polly and Jack in the composition hitched to the cart beside the haystack while local farmers go about their routine task of making hay.  The pastel, done in an appealing impressionist style is crisp and has a tangible liveliness and freshness, drawn confidently and expertly and showing the formal training and exposure to European art that Heysen acquired during his early studies at respected art schools in Europe.

Interestingly, on the rear of the artwork, we see the signature and stamp of David Heysen, Hans Heysen’s eldest son who remained particularly close to his father throughout his life, often accompanying him on sketching trips and assisting him later in life as his eyesight failed.

David Heysen was also responsible for the framing and restoration of many of his father’s paintings, as well as being a trusted advisor about the history and authenticity of Hans Heysen’s work.  To have David Heysen’s signature and stamp on the rear of this work’s frame is an enviable provenance and confirms without question that “Hay Making” is an authentic work by Hans Heysen.  When Hans Heysen died in 1968, the family property, The Cedars, passed to David, who took over the running of The Cedars and opened it to the public as a house museum. David Heysen died in 1989.

Pastel & Charcoal on Paper
26 x 33 cm
47 x 53 cm
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