Boyd, Arthur Merric, Senior (1862-1940; New Zealander/Australian)
Waiting for the tide 1895
Oil on canvas, c. 88.9 x 134.62 cm
Purchased, 1895
Unidentified; present location unknown

This was one of several contemporary Australian paintings purchased for the Melbourne collection from the Victorian Artists’ Society in 1894-5: see e.g. Humphrey Under a Summer Sun 1895 {1895} NGV [PA]. The present work was still listed in the NGV in 1943 (, but no longer appears to be in the collection. His St Kilda Pier (1888), purchased for the NGV in 1967, is reproduced below.

The artist, who arrived in Melbourne with his parents in the mid 1870s, painted numerous oils and watercolours of coastal scenes and other landscape subjects. Although he knew Phillips Fox and McCubbin, he was not a participant in the major developments of Australian landscape painting of the period. But he is generally regarded as the father of the Boyd “dynasty.”

In 1886 he married Emma Minnie Boyd (née A’Beckett): see Boyd (E.) To the Workhouse 1891 {1893} NGV [PA]. After living and working in England and France for some years, the couple returned to Melbourne in 1894, and settled in the bayside suburb of Sandringham. Their children included the painter Penleigh Boyd (1890-1923), the novelist Martin Boyd (1893-1972), and the potter William Merric Boyd (1888-1959), known as Merric, who was the father of Australian modernist painter Arthur Boyd (1920-99).

[comparative photo reproduced below: St Kilda Pier 1888 (NGV, purchased 1967)]


AR 1895, p.25; NGV 1905, p.102 (III.McArthur Gallery, no.70; size given as 35 x 53 inches) [£52/10] 

For the artist, see (biography by Marjorie Tipping, published in ADB vol.7, 1979, also discussing Merric and Penleigh Boyd); see also AKL 13 (1996), p.454 (entry by Robert Smith, with further references). For his St Kilda Pier 1888, see Downer & Phipps Victorian Vision (1985), cat.52, and NGV catalogue