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The bark paintings

Old Masters: Australia's great bark artists

Caution: This website includes images and names of deceased people that may cause distress to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


The bark paintings

The paintings in the exhibition are organised according to the three stylistic regions in Arnhem Land: western Arnhem Land, where figurative images predominate; eastern Arnhem Land, where the emphasis is on geometric and conventionalised imagery; and central Arnhem Land, where artists tend to combine both approaches. Within these three stylistic regions Old Masters explores some of the major themes of bark painting, from the ancestral realm to expressions of identity and reflections on contemporary life.

All these works are now part of the National Museum of Australia's collection.

Explore the paintings by stylistic regions


Central Arnhem Land

Central Arnhem Land

Eastern Arnhem Land

Eastern Arnhem Land

Western Arnhem Land

Western Arnhem Land

All these bark paintings are part of the National Museum of Australia’s collection. © the artist or the artist’s estate, licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency 2013, unless otherwise specified. These images must not be reproduced in any form without permission.