The Deposition, Arthur Boyd
  • Artist
    Arthur Boyd
  • Born
    1920
  • Died
    1999
  • Title
    The Deposition
  • Date of Production
    1952-53
  • Medium
    terracotta, paint
  • Dimensions
    86.5 x 47 x 31.9 cm
  • Credit Details
    Purchased by the Ferry Foundation in October 2003 to celebrate Margaret Rich's 23 years as Director of the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery. © Reproduced with permission of the Bundanon Trust

Arthur Boyd

The Deposition

At various times throughout his career the painter, potter and printmaker, Arthur Boyd devoted himself almost exclusively to working in clay. A pacifist, Boyd found world affairs of the late 1940's and early 1950's very difficult to accept. This sculpture reflects something of the turmoil felt by the artist at a time when the threat of yet another global conflict seemed imminent.

One of a series of four sculptures by Boyd which relate to the passion of Christ, Deposition relates to the taking down of Christ's body from the cross and its entombment. Here Boyd has portrayed the dead Christ cradled in the arms of a woman with long red hair who is presumably Mary Magdalen. Two other heads near the base with their arms reaching up towards the body represent the other women who were present at the Crucifixion. Although religion was not a dominant factor in his upbringing, here Boyd has created a work that not only has enormous power as a religious subject but which also expresses extreme grief and anguish.