A European art student 1899–1903
On the eve of his twenty-second birthday on 7 October 1899, Heysen boarded the Ville de la Ciotat at Port Adelaide and sailed for Marseilles, France. One month later he arrived in Paris and on the advice of fellow Australian students found lodgings on the Boulevard du Montparnasse, in the centre of the Parisian art world. He enrolled at the Académie Julian and the Académie Colarossi, and was later selected for admission to the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts.
While studying in Paris from November 1899 to May 1902, Heysen spent each summer painting and studying the art collections in Holland and Scotland.
At the end of 1902 Heysen spent two months in Venice. He then travelled south, through Rome and Naples, crossing to the Isle of Capri, where he stayed for three months.
On 26 August 1903, at Naples, Heysen embarked for Australia on the Carlsruhe. One month later he arrived back home in Adelaide with an immeasurably improved technique.