Arthur Merric Bloomfield Boyd (24 July 1920 – 24 April 1999) was a leading Australian painter of the late 20th century. Boyd’s work ranges from impressionist renderings of Australian landscape to starkly expressionist figuration, and many canvases feature both. Several famous works set Biblical stories against the Australian landscape, such as The Expulsion (1947–48), now at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Having a strong social conscience, Boyd’s work deals with humanitarian issues and universal themes of love, loss and shame.Boyd was a member of the Antipodeans, a group of Melbourne painters that also included Clifton Pugh, David Boyd, John Brack, Robert Dickerson, John Perceval and Charles Blackman.
The Boyd family artistic dynasty includes painters, sculptors, architects and other arts professionals, commencing with Boyd’s grandmother Emma Minnie Boyd and her husband Arthur Merric Boyd, Boyd’s father Merric and mother Doris; ‘She was the backbone of the family’ recalls Boyd “without her, the entire family would have fallen apart”, uncles Penleigh Boyd and Martin Boyd, and siblings Guy, David and Lucy. His other sister Mary Boyd, also a painter, married first John Perceval, and then later Sidney Nolan, both artists. Boyd’s wife, Yvonne Boyd (née Lennie) is also a painter; as are their children Jamie, Polly, and Lucy.
In 1993, Arthur and Yvonne Boyd gave family properties comprising 1,100 hectares (2,700 acres) at Bundanon on the Shoalhaven River to the people of Australia. Held in trust, Boyd later donated further property, artwork, and the copyright to all of his work.