Hans HEYSEN | The promenade

Germany 1877 – Australia 1968
Australia from 1884; Europe, England 1899-1903

The promenade 1953
oil on canvas
106.7 (h) x 76.2 (w) cm
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
NGA 1959.22
© Hans Heysen, Licensed by VISCOPY, Australia


Heysen’s fascination with turkeys began when the postmistress at Hahndorf sent him some bronzewing turkey eggs.  To his surprise, when they hatched many of the chicks turned out to be white, which was a rare occurrence.  These birds eventually became known as Heysen’s turkeys, after the drawings and woodcuts by Lionel Lindsay.[1] Their unusual white-and-bronze colour combinations inspired Heysen to paint a series of pictures.

In 1953 Heysen was commissioned to paint a version in oil for the Commonwealth Collection, which he titled The promenade.

Rebecca Andrews

© Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 2008
Andrews, Hans Heysen, exhibition book, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 2008, p 82

[1] David Dridan, The art of Hans Heysen, Adelaide: Rigby, 1966, text accompanying cat 30