Museum of Brisbane

Sunday Stories | Lloyd Rees

Lloyd Rees is one of Australia’s leading artists from the 20th century, renowned for his work in printmaking, drawing and painting. After completing his education at Brisbane Technical College, alongside notable artist Richard Godfrey Rivers, Lloyd set sail for Europe to continue his art studies.

During his travels, Lloyd joined fellow Brisbane artist and student, Daphne Mayo as she toured France and Italy on the Edward Stott Travelling Scholarship. In 1923, Lloyd proposed to Mayo and the two became engaged. During this time, Lloyd completed many sketches of the cities they visited together, now forming part of state and national collections all over Australia.

Despite a small collection of Paris sketches accidentally left by Lloyd on a bus in London, the impression of European architecture was an inspiration that Lloyd never lost. Returning to Australia in 1924, Lloyd built on his impressions of European architecture and landscape in his depiction of Australian landmarks and locations.

In 1925, Lloyd’s engagement with Daphne came to an end, with the now distinguished sculptor focusing solely on the pursuit of her artistic career. Despite this, the two remained lifelong friends, with Daphne even completing a bust of Lloyd over 30 years later.

The inspiration Lloyd encountered through the architecture and landscape from this European travel, as well as return journeys in 1953, 1959, 1966-67 and 1973, would prove to be a significant influence on his work. However, Lloyd found himself inspired by the European cityscapes of Paris and Rome long before he ventured overseas, as evidenced in some of his earliest recorded sketches produced between 1912 and 1917. These sketches depict Lloyd’s Brisbane, a city “of his own creation” imbued with a romanticism and escape evocative of the European cityscapes he longed to visit.

Click here to explore Llloyd’s sketches.


Blog Thumbnail: Mayo, Daphne, 1895-1982 Lloyd Rees, sketching. Daphne Mayo Collection, image courtesy The University of Queensland. Image 1: Portrait of Lloyd Rees c1922, from the Daphne Mayo Collection, UQFL119, image courtesy The University of Queensland. Image 2: Photograph of portrait bust sculpture of Lloyd Rees by Daphne Mayo, from the Daphne Mayo Collection, UQFL119, image courtesy The University of Queensland. Image 3: Daphne Mayo and Lloyd Rees c1923-24, from the Daphne Mayo Collection, UQFL119, image courtesy The University of Queensland.