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Brett Whiteley 1939-1992

If you love qualityArt of impeccable provenance, the art you want is at Galeria Aniela

Brett Whiteley AO ( 1939-1992) is one of the most famous Australian painters. His work is held in international collections including Tate Gallery London, Museum of Modern Art New York, National Gallery of Australia. Awards:  1975 Sir. William Anglis Memorial Art Prize, 1976 Archibald Prize, 1976 Sulman Prize and 1977 Wynne Prize.

Whiteley Henri's Armchair sold for $6,136,364; My Armchair $3,927,270; The Olgas  $3,480,000 and Opera House $2,880,000.




 Unashamed Angophora
Oil, Collage, Branch on Board
 120 x 150 cm
Cat. no. 69.90
Price: SOLD

 Garden, 1975
epia Ink on paper
 86 x 76 cm

Cat. no. 141.75
Price: SOLD

Kurrajong with Blue Wren
Oil, Collage on Board
120 x 180 cm
Cat. no. 177.81
Price: SOLD


If you consider buying or selling an original work of
Brett Whiteley, Arthur Boyd, Charles Blackman, Fred Williams, Garry Shead, John Perceval, Arthur Streeton or another significant work of fine art, please contact us. 


Auction Results


Price excl. GST

Henri's Armchair 1974-75

Oil, ink and charcoal on canvas, signed, dated inscribed verso: "Henri's Armchair"/  1974/ Brett Whiteley/, 195x302cm, Menzies, Sydney, 26/11/2020, Lot No. 1



My Armchair, 1976

Oil on canvas, signed dated lower right Brett Whiteley 1976, inscribed upper right interior at Lavender Bay under sunlight, artist's monogram, 206.5x283.5cm, Menzies, Important Australian and International Fine Paintings and Sculpture, Melbourne, Lot No. 42



The Olgas for Ernest Giles
(Also Known as to Ernest Giles) 1985

Oil and mixed media on board, signed with initials and dated lower right: BW/ 85, inscribed lower right: To Ernest Giles, 213.5 x 244.5 cm, Deutscher~Menzies, Fine Australian & International Art, Sydney, Lot No. 35



Opera House

Oil, cardboard, collage, shell, ink on canvas board, signed and dated 1971-82 lower left; inscribed to John Cage upper right, 203x244cm, Sotheby's Important Australian Art, Sydney, Lot No. 7



'Frangipani and Humming Bird' Japanese: Summer

Oil tempera on canvas, 211x400cm, Sotheby's, Important Australian Art, Sydney, Lot No. 39



Gauguin, 1968  
(Also Known as Portrait of Paul Gauguin on the Eve Of His Attempted Suicide, Tahiti)

Oil, acrylic, charcoal, graphite, plastic, glass, wood & printed paper collage construction on panel, signed, dated inscribed lower right portrait of Paul Gauguin on the eve of his attempted suicide, Tahiti/ Brett Whiteley 1968, NY, 152.5x264.5cm (irreg.), Menzies, Australian & International Fine Art & Sculpture, Melbourne, Lot No. 37



The Jacaranda Tree (On Sydney Harbour), 1977

Oil on canvas, signed 'Brett Whiteley 1977' lower right, 208x456cm, Christies, Australian & International Art, Sydney, Lot No. 85



Orange Fiji Fruit Dove c. 1983

Oil on canvas, signed lower right: Brett Whiteley, 184x202.5cm, Deutscher~Menzies, Australian and International Fine Art, Sydney, Lot No. 36



Washing the Salt off 1, 1985

Oil on canvas, signed and dated lower right: Brett Whiteley July 85, inscribed lower left: at most Australian beaches/ showers are provided right on the/ beach, for people who don't like the salty [sic] feeling.. stamped lower left, 167.5x152cm, Menzies, Australian & International Fine Art, Sydney, Lot No. 42



The Paddock - Late Afternoon, 1979

Oil on canvas, signed lower centre Brett Whiteley, 202x152cm, Est: $1500,000-1,800,000, Menzies, Australian & International Fine Art & Sculpture, Sydney, 28/03/2019, Lot No. 40



The Sunrise - Japanese: 'Good Morning!', 1988

Oil and collage on board with electric light, signed and dated lower left brett whiteley 88, inscribed with calligraphy characters upper left. sketch of beach scene on verso, 244 x 204.5 cm, , Menzies, Australian & International Fine Art & Sculpture, Sydney, 19/11/2020, Lot No. 33



Arkie Under the Shower 1986-87

Oil on board, signed lower right: Brett Whiteley, signed, dated and inscribed verso: 'arkie under the shower'/ 1986-87/ brett whiteley, 173x112cm, Deutscher~Menzies, Australian and International Fine Art, Sydney, Lot No. 31



The Arrival – a Glimpse in the Botanical Gardens 1984

Oil, collage and charcoal on canvas, signed 'Brett Whiteley' lower right; signed, dated and inscribed '“The arrival – a glimpse in the Botanical Gardens” / 1984 / Brett Whiteley' verso, 106x90.6cm, Smith & Singer, Masterpiece Auction, Sydney, 13/10/2020, Lot No. 1



The Orange Table 1977-1978

Synthetic polymer paint, oil, tempera, charcoal and oyster shells on plywood, signed and dated 'Brett Whiteley / 78' lower right, dated and inscribed 'The Orange Table'(Sketch)/1977-78' verso, 124x205cm, Sotheby's, Important Australian Art, Sydney, 20/11/2019, Lot No. 30





View from the Sitting Room Window, Lavender Bay, 1991

Oil, mixed media and collage on board, signed and dated lower centre: Brett Whiteley 91, 122x198cm, Deutscher~Menzies, Fine Australian & International Art, Sydney, Lot No. 33



The Meeting 1981

Oil and collage on composition board, signed dated 'Brett Whiteley / 4/81' lower centre, 183x120cm, Sotheby's, Important Australian & New Zealand Art (lots 1-98) | Important Australian Art from The J.G.L. Collection (lots 99-137), Sydney, 16/05/2018, Lot No. 36





Little Orange (Sunset) 1974

Oil and mixed media on board, signed lower right, brett whiteley, 205.5 x 76 cm, Menzies, Australian and International Fine Art, Melbourne, Lot No. 27



Washing the Salt off III, 1985

Oil on canvas on composition board, signed, dated and inscribed with title verso: Brett Whiteley / 'Washing the salt off 3' / 1985, 92x61cm, Deutscher and Hackett, Important Australian & International Fine Art, Sydney,  Lot No. 17



Lavender Bay at Dusk 1984

Oil on board, signed lower left: Brett Whiteley, signed, dated and inscribed verso: Brett Whiteley/ 84/ 'Lavender Bay at Dusk', 122x152.5cm, Deutscher~Menzies, Sydney June Fine Art Auction, Sydney, Lot No. 21



Shao 1979

Oil and collage on board, signed 'Brett Whiteley' lower right, inscribed 'No. 13 'Shao'' verso, 100.6 x 78.4 cm, Est: $850,000-950,000, Sotheby's, Important Australian Art, Sydney, 21/11/2017, Lot No. 20




The Robin and the Moon 1981

Oil on canvas, signed 'Brett Whiteley' lower left, dated '81' lower right, signed, dated and inscribed 'Brett Whiteley 'The robin and the moon' '81' verso (frame), 86.5x86.5cm, Sotheby's, Important Australian Art, Sydney, Lot No. 8



The Drought Crow: Sloping Up on the Olgas 1 (Up Front and Outback) 1984-1985

Oil, tempera, nails and photographs on plywood, signed and inscribed 'the drought from the land and the air' / brett whiteley (walking + using a chopper)' lower left, dated and inscribed 'Sloping Up / On The Olgas' I / 1984-85 (With Crow)' verso, 124 x 104 cm, Sotheby's, Important Australian Art, Sydney, Lot No. 21



Vincent, 1968

Oil, ink, mirror and razor on board, signed and dated lower right: Brett 68 inscribed upper left: The departure of Gauguin from Arles, 221.5x167.5cm, Deutscher and Hackett, Australian & International Fine Art, Melbourne, 29/08/2007, Lot No. 10




Oil on composition board, signed and inscribed with title lower right, 107x92cm, Sotheby's, Important Australian Art, Sydney, Lot No. 15




Oil and collage on canvas, signed dated 1975-78 lower left; signed and dated 1975-78 on reverse; bears artist's name and title label on reverse, 180x204cm, Sotheby's, Important Australian Art, Melbourne, Lot No. 23




Works on paper - watercolor, ink and mixed media

Price Excl. GST


Ink, gouache on paper and collage on board, signed, dated 1970, inscribed on the reverse


Sotheby's, Important Australian Art Sydney, Lot No. 69


Harry's Building - Sydney Harbour, 1976

Etching, ink and oil on paper, signed lower right with artist's monogram, signed dated lower right, inscribed lower left harry's building/ Sydney Harbour

60 x 48 cm  Est: $50,000-70,000

 86 x 64.5 cm (sheet size) Menzies, Important Australian & International Art, Sydney, 01/12/2021, Lot No. 38



Approaching Storm, 1979

watercolor and gouache on paper on card, stamped lower left artist's monogram, dated lower right 21/Aug/79

52 x 41cm

Menzies, Australian and International Fine Art, Melbourne, 10/08/2017, Lot No. 32


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Galeria Aniela specialize in museum-quality works  of art of impeccable provenance

Brett Whiteley Biography (1939-1992)

Brett Whiteley AO (7 April 1939 –15 June 1992) Australian artist is one of the most famous Australian painters of the twentieth century.

Whiteley original works on paper sell from few hundred thousand to under one hundred thousand dollars. ABC net story: Whiteley paintings sells for record price


Brett Whiteley is famous for semi-surreal landscape-gardens and nudes, created paintings, drawings and sculpture. Whiteley's topics also included portraits, still-life's, birds and abstracts. Brett Whiteley was inspired by singers like Bob Dylan and lived the lifestyle of a rock star. He married Wendy who was his "Muse".

Whiteley is known for his skill as a great draughtsman, had many shows in his career, and travelled extensively around the world. Brett Whiteley is represented in all Australian National galleries. He is one of the most important and best loved Australian artists, Whiteley painting sells for record price, his original paintings have sold for many millions dollars. Famous Works: The Soup Kitchen 1958, Red Painting 1960, Alchemy 1972-73, Self Portrait the Studio 1976, The Jacaranda Tree (Sydney Harbour) 1977. 

Brett Whiteley is the most famous for semi-surreal landscapes, gardens with views of Sydney and nudes. Whiteley's topics also  included portraits, still lifes, birds and abstracts. The Sydney based artist created paintings, drawings and sculpture.  Brett Whiteley was inspired by singers like Bob Dylan and lived the lifestyle of a rock star. He was married to the beautiful Wendy Whiteley who was his "Muse" for a number of years though he lived fast and hard. Whiteley searched for a muse in drugs, just as many rock stars had done before him, but ultimately it was this lifestyle that shortened his life and career.


1961 Dyason Bequest, AGNSW

1961 International Prix at the 2nd Bienalle, Paris

1964 International Drawing Prize, Darmstadt, Germany

1964 Perth Festival Art Prize, Australia

1975 Sir William Anglis Memorial Prize, Melbourne

1976 Archibald Prize for 'Self Portrait in the Studio'

1976 Sulman Prize for 'Interior with Time Past'

1977 Wynne Prize for 'The Jacaranda Tree'

1978 Wynne Prize for 'Summer at Carcoar'

1978 Sulman Prize for 'Yellow Nude'

1978 Archibald Prize for 'Art, Life and the Other Thing'

1984 Wynne Prize for 'South Coast After the Rain'

1991 Awarded the Order of Australia (OA)

Educated at The Scots School, Bathurst and The Scots College, Bellevue Hill, Brett Whiteley started drawing very early in life. While a teenager, he painted on weekends at Bathurst and Sydney with such works as The Soup Kitchen (1958). In 1960, Whiteley left Australia on a Travelling Art Scholarship (judged by Sir Russell Drysdale at the Art Gallery of New South Wales). One of the works he submitted to win the scholarship was Sofala, which he had painted in 1956; it was done in images which were slightly abstracted in brownish colours. After winning the scholarship he travelled around Europe, visiting Italy, France and England. He arrived in London at a time when many Australian artists were becoming popular in England. During this period, there was a fascination with Australian art there, and Australian artists were looked on favourably by the English public. Australian artists Arthur Boyd, Sidney Nolan and Russell Drysdale had become well known and were exhibiting in London, as well as many other Australian artists who were also there.

After meeting the director of the Whitechapel Gallery, he was included in the group show 'Survey of Recent Australian Painting' where his Untitled Red painting was bought by the Tate Gallery. This made him the youngest artist ever to have been bought by the Tate, and it was this fact which helped him to have even more success, such as when he won the first prize for Australia at the Biennale de la Jeunesse in Paris. During the next few years he had much contact with artists in London and in travels to other parts of the world, and it was these friendships and contacts which helped him to become an accepted artist.

Whiteley 1939 59

In 1960, aged 21, Whiteley left Australia on a Travelling Art Scholarship (judged by Sir Russell Drysdale at the Art Gallery of New South Wales), and by 1961 had settled in London where his work was shown at the Whitechapel and Marlborough galleries. In London he met many other painters, including fellow Australians, Arthur Boyd and John Passmore.

In 1962, he married Wendy Julius and their only child, daughter Arkie Whiteley, was born in London in 1964. While in London, Whiteley painted works in several different series: bathing, the zoo and the Christies. His paintings during these years were influenced by the modernist British art of the sixties - particularly the works of William Scott and Roger Hilton - and were of brownish abstract forms. It was these abstracted works which established him as an artist, right at the time when many other Australian artists were exhibiting in London. He painted Woman in Bath as part of a series of works he was doing of bathroom pictures. It has primarily black on one side and an image of his wife Wendy in a bathtub from behind. Another in the series was a more abstracted Woman in the Bath II, which owed a debt to his yellow and red abstract paintings of the early sixties.

Whiteley 1960'sIn 1964, while in London, Whiteley was fascinated by the murderer John Christie, who had committed murders in the area near where Whiteley was staying at Ladbroke Grove. He painted a series of paintings based on these events, including Head of Christie. Whiteley's intention was to portray the violence of the events, but not to go too far in showing something which people would not want to see. During this time, Whiteley painted works based on the animals at the London Zoo, such as Two Indonesian Giraffes, which he found sometimes difficult because of how much the animals would move. As he said: "To draw animals, one has to work at white heat because they move so much, and partly because it is sometimes painful to feel what one guesses the animal 'feels' from inside." (Whiteley 1979: 1) Whiteley also made images of the beach, such as in his yellowish painting and collage work The Beach II, which he painted on a brief visit to Australia before his return to London and his winning of a fellowship to America.

Whiteley appears as a character in the book Falling Towards England by Clive James under the name Dibbs Buckley. Wendy appears as "Delish."

When in 1967 Whiteley won a Harkness Fellowship Scholarship to study and work in New York he met other artists and musicians while he lived at the Hotel Chelsea. His first impression of New York was shown in the painting First Sensation of New York City, which showed streets with fast moving cars, street signs, hot dog vendors, and tall buildings. One way that America influenced him is the scale of his works. He was very much influenced by the peace movement at the time and came to believe that if he painted one huge painting which would advocate peace, then the Americans would withdraw their troops from Vietnam. Still fairly young, Whiteley was idealistic and caught up in the great peace movements of the 1960s, with the protests against America's involvement in the war in Vietnam. The work was called The American Dream, it was an enormous work that used painting and collage and anything else he could find to put on the 18 wooden panels. It took up a great deal of his time and effort, taking up about a year of working on the piece full time. It started with a peaceful dreamlike serene ocean scene on one side, that worked its way to destruction and chaos in a mass of lighting, red colours and explosions on the other side. It was his comment on the direction the world would be headed and his response to a seemingly pointless war which could end in a nuclear holocaust. Many of the ideas from the work may have come from his experiences with alcohol, marijuana and other drugs. He believed that many of his ideas have come from these experiences, and he often used drugs as a way of bringing the ideas from his subconscious. He sometimes took more than his body could handle, and had to be admitted to hospital for alcohol poisoning twice. Around him at the Hotel Chelsea, other artists and musicians took heroin, which Whiteley did not take at that time. The painting which was finally produced was made of many different elements, using collage, photography and even flashing lights, with a total length of nearly 22 meters. However Marlborough-Gerson, his gallery, refused to show this work which he had been working on for about a year, and he was so distraught that he decided to leave New York, and he 'fled' to Fiji.

Whiteley 1970's

Whiteley was awarded the Wynne Prize again in 1984, and the following year purchased an old T-shirt factory in Surry Hills, Sydney and converted it into a studio. Further renovations followed and in later years the downstairs gallery area was repainted and now houses changing exhibitions. In 1991 he was awarded the Order of Australia (General Division). In the last years of his life Whiteley travelled far and wide, taking in England, Bali, Tokyo, and spending two months in Paris in an apartment on Rue de Tournon. On 15 June 1992 he was found dead from a heroin overdose in a motel room in Thirroul on the NSW coast. The coroner's verdict was 'death due to self-administered substances'. He was 53 years old.

In the Queen's Birthday Honours of 1991, Brett Whiteley was appointed an Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia. On 15 June 1992, aged 53, he was found dead from a heroin overdose in a motel room in Thirroul, north of Wollongong. The coroner's verdict was 'death due to self-administered substances'.

In 1999, Brett's mother Beryl Whiteley founded the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship in memory of her son. Also in 1999, Whiteley's painting The Jacaranda Tree (1977), which had won the Wynne Prize, sold for $1,982,000, a record for a modern Australian painter.

In 2007 his painting The Olgas sold for an Australian record of $3.5 million. On 7 May 2007, Opera House, (which took Whiteley a decade to paint, and which he exchanged with Qantas for a period of free air travel) sold for $2.8 million, in Sydney.

Brett Whiteley is one of Australia's most revered artists. His lyrical expressionism and lack of inhibition placed him at the forefront of Australia's avant-garde art movement. He won many prizes and awards and his work hangs in numerous galleries, including the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, the Tate Gallery in London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.




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