Hans Heysen

Armand Cabrera

Hans Heysen was born in Hamburg Germany in 1877 his family moved to South Australia in 1884 when Hans was 7. In 1899 he was sent to Europe by four local patrons in exchange for the work he would produce there. Heysen studied at the Academie Julian under Benjamin Constant and Jean Paul Laurens and the Academie des Beaux Arts.

Heysen returned to South Australia in 1903 and He started a studio in Adelaide where he taught art classes and displayed his paintings. . In 1904 he was married to Selma Bartels. After a few successful exhibitions Heysen was able to purchase a home near Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills which he called the Cedars. The couple raised their eight children there. He built his studio on the property with limestone from the local quarry. 

He made many trips into the countryside to paint and draw the landscape. Heysen worked in watercolor and oils. His watercolor paintings of Eucalyptus were highly sought after. His paintings won him many awards during his lifetime including nine times for the coveted Wynn prize for best Australian Landscape.

The 148 acres Cedars property is a museum today and contains hundreds of works of art by Heysen and his daughter Nora, who was also an artist. The house and studios of both artists are preserved along with the gardens and can be visited by the public.

Heysen was made an officer of the British Empire in 1945 and he was knighted in 1959. Hans Heysen died in 1968 at the age of 90.

Here is a link to The Cedars Museum for people interested in finding out more about this artist and his work.

Hans Heysen

Andrew MacKenzie

Oz Publishing 1988