Five Bells, 1963

Ships from
Sydney, NSW
free delivery

Each unframed, limited edition fine art reproduction is hand signed by John Olsen, printed and published by Digital Art Directory.

This "Five Bells" fine art reproduction printed on beautiful watercolour paper, is strictly limited to a total edition size of 250 and is offered to The Store customers at an exclusive price.


Every fine art reproduction is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity, has a blind embossment by the publisher and also two more "frog" blind embossments drawn and approved by John Olsen.

The original work is part of the Art Gallery of New South Wales collection.

In 1963 John Olsen undertook a private commission to paint "Five Bells, 1963". It was based on the theme of a poem by the Australian poet, Kenneth Slessor called Five Bells. The poem that would later become the subject of his best known public commission, the Sydney Opera House mural "Salute to Five Bells". John's selection to paint the mural was made by the William Dobell Art Foundation in 1972 and his mural was in place for the official opening of the Opera House in October 1973. Both these paintings represent a shared, passionate connection with Sydney Harbour.

Printed using Japanese pigment ink onto 256gsm English watercolour paper, this paper and ink combination makes them archival for up to 135 years.

Paper Size: 91 x 94 cm.
Image Size: 82 x 85 cm.

Ex Large
Paper Size: 112 x 116 cm.
Image Size: 102 x 106 cm.

Artist comment on the work:

"Five Bells" was my first commission to paint in situ to cover a wall … I didn’t hesitate. I brushed a line around the core theme, the seed-burst, the life-burst, the sea-harbour, the source of life. Inside and around this core, I painted images drawn from metaphors and similes in [Kenneth] Slessor’s poem of our harbour city, and from my own emotional and physical involvement with the harbour, and with my young family in Watsons Bay …
I wanted to show the Harbour as a movement, a sea suck, and the sound of the water as though I am part of the sea ... The painting says directly what I wanted to say: ‘I am in the sea-harbour, and the sea-harbour is in me’.
John Olsen, 1999.


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Delivery: Can take up to 20 working days.

Each work is wrapped using heavy weight melinex (mylar) onto 5mm acid free board, additionally sandwiched between 2 pieces of 5mm corflute for protection when being transported, then the entire package is wrapped in bubblewrap.

Sent via registered courier.

International deliveries are unavailable .


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Born in Newcastle in 1928, Dr John Olsen received an Order of Australia in 2001. In 1977 he was awarded the O.B.E. for services to the Arts and in 1993 he was awarded an Australian Creative Fellowship. He was also awarded the Wynne Prize in 1969 and 1985 and the Archibald Prize in 2005 among many other awards throughout his career. Olsen's work is represented in all Australian state gallery collections, the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra and regional galleries Australia wide. He is also represented in institutional, corporate and private collections in Australasia, United Kingdom, Europe and the United States of America. John Olsen is represented by the Olsen Gallery, Sydney

Expected delivery within three weeks
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