Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria
Born in Germany in 1877, Heysen emigrated to South Australia in 1883. He died at Mount Barker 2 July 1968.
Hens Heysen was a prodigious and successful artist, known especially for his Australian landscape paintings. As a young man he attended James Ashton's Norwood Art School.
Heysen quickly attracted wealthy patrons including Robert Barr Smith who paid tuition fees at the school of design at the Art Gallery of South Australia under Harry Gill. In 1899 four men offered Heysen a contract in which they agreed to advance £400 to finance his studies in Europe in return for the right to recoup their outlay by selling whatever he might paint while overseas.
After exhibition success in Melbourne, he bought a property in the Hahndorf countryside in South Australia, where he lived for the rest of his life, depicting the landscape and the work of the German labourers in the fields.
A conservationist, Heysen fought to preserve the great red gums and white gums of the Adelaide Hills.
He is most noted for his paintings featuring River Red Gums, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, in the Adelaide Hills and the southern Flinders Ranges in South Australia.
Source: Extracted from: Wrigley, J.W. (2013) Eucalypt Flowers, National Library of Australia, Canberra; and http://www.jaunay.com/heysen.html.
Portrait Photo: Extracted from: http://www.jaunay.com/heysen.html