Francis Lymburner was a significant Australian artist. Alongside William Dobell and Russell Drysdale, he was at the forefront of Sydney’s art scene in the 1940s. Like Pablo Picasso, Lymburner was interested in performers – dancers, actors, musicians, clowns – as a divergence from everyday reality. He was also drawn to animals, haunting Taronga Park Zoo before leaving for war. Curator Barry Pearce described his practice as
“[painting]... the world the way he wanted it to be, a romantic, fantastic counterpart to the dreary realities of existence”.
Unfortunately, in 1966 Lymburner’s career was cut short by a cerebral haemorrhage. In 1992, the Art Gallery of New South Wales held a retrospective of his paintings and drawings, and his work remains in most major galleries. Curious, perceptive and perpetually poetic, his work continues to inspire collectors today.