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Mr Hans Heysen1938

by Norman Carter

Norman Carter was born in Melbourne in 1875. Apprenticed as a stained-glass maker, he studied art in the evenings. He moved to Sydney in 1903 and became a successful, if conventional, portrait painter.

German-born Hans Heysen migrated to Australia as a child. In 1912 he bought a home near Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills, and the region’s landscape provided inspired him during the rest of his life.

Norman Carter and Heysen were good friends but Heysen did not spare his criticism of the portrait. He told Carter that the portrait ‘carried across the room splendidly’ but several failings in it ‘detracted from its success’. The portrait was an Archibald Prize finalist in 1938.