After a record-breaking auction, Sir Hans Heysen’s largest watercolour masterpiece will be returning to Heysen’s hometown of Hahndorf.
The famous painting, titled The Camp on Wonoka Creek, was acquired by hoteliers and owners of The Haus the Duffield family, for a staggering $110,000 – the most a watercolour painting has ever sold for in South Australia.
Painted by Heysen on a journey to the Flinders Ranges in 1932, it depicts a stockman resting with his horse and sheep under large gum trees. It is believed to be one of the artist’s favourites from his extensive collections.
It was first sold to wealthy wool broker James McGregor in 1958, where it was then given as a gift before ending in a private collection in Dusseldorf, Germany, before being picked up by an international art dealer.
Speaking to The Advertiser, Jason said his family couldn’t imagine the painting living anywhere else but Hahndorf.
“We want all the community, the Hills residents and tourists to be able to enjoy the painting,” he said.
“It’s our opportunity to preserve the Heysen legacy in Hahndorf.”
The public will be able to view the masterpiece in The Haus restaurant in the coming months.
The acquisition of the painting comes on the 50th anniversary of Heysen’s first exhibition at the Hahndorf Academy where his renowned landscapes were showcased on his 90th birthday.
Heysen’s heritage property, The Cedars, is also set to welcome a world-class cultural centre set to help the property become an arts hub for visitors worldwide.
If you’d like to see the works of Heysen, visit The Cedars – open Tuesday to Sundays from 10am to 4.30pm (excluding Christmas Day, Christmas Day and Good Friday) – or the Hahndorf Academy. Stay tuned for more information about the unveiling of The Camp on Wonoka Creek at The Haus.
Pictured (left): Jason Duffield alongside Heysen's painting after the auction.