Acclaimed Australian Artist John Olsen Dies, Aged 95

“A landscape poet”

Article heading image for Acclaimed Australian Artist John Olsen Dies, Aged 95

Daniel Aarons

John Olsen AO OBE, one of Australia’s most celebrated artists has died, aged 95.

The acclaimed artist died on Tuesday evening surrounded by his loved ones including daughter, Louise, and son and gallerist, Tim.

Stay up-to-date on the latest news with The New South Wales Briefing – keeping you in the loop with news as it hits:

“Apart from our First Nation artists, he changed the perspective and way that Australians looked at our magnificent landscape,” Tim said on Tuesday.

“He was a landscape poet to the end and a titan of the Australian art world.”


Mr Olsen was born in Newcastle in 1928, and despite the complexities of becoming an artist back then, he studied art at Julian Ashton Art School before enrolling at East Sydney Technical College where he was taught by John Passmore.

“It took a lot of courage to be an artist in those days and he had no hesitation but to run with it and in art he found his calling,” Tim said.

Mr Olsen won countless art prizes across his six-decade career, including the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman prizes for his work exploring and expanding the theme of landscapes in his work.

Many of his pieces remain in galleries across the country and overseas, but one most remember is the piece he was commissioned to paint for the Sydney Opera House, Salute to Five Bells, which remains hanging in the northern foyer today.

Other famous pieces of Mr Olsen’s include Summer in the beautiful country, Popping Blue Bottle and Spanish encounter


Subscribe to The Briefing, Australia's fastest-growing news podcast on Listnr today. The Briefing serves up the latest news headlines and a deep dive into a topic affecting you. All in under 20 minutes.

Tricia Mifsud

12 April 2023

Article by:

Tricia Mifsud

Listen Live!

Up Next