About……JOHN OLSEN at Etching House


Born in Newcastle, 1928, John Olsen’s place in Australian art is unchallenged

John Olsen is one of Australia’s most significant and accomplished artists and is recognized for this both nationally and internationally for his energetic and distinctive art.

Olsen’s name is widely associated with his exuberant and colloquial You Beaut Country series which firmly established his reputation in the early 1960s. He is also famous for his interpretation of Sydney harbor in his commission for the Sydney Opera House called The Salute to Five Bells undertaken in the 1970s.

Plants, birds and animals began to feature in his works during the 1970s and 80s when he traveled extensively across the country, giving new insights into Australia’s regional and desert landscapes though he has always sought to capture a spiritual and universal dimension to the landscape and the natural world in his work.

Barry Pearce, head curator of Australian art at the Art Gallery of NSW, describes Olsen as “the king, the one who has defined the continent of his generation better than anyone else”.

There have been other great Australian landscape painters during Olsen’s time, says Pearce, “like Fred Williams and now William Robinson”. But Olsen is “the poet of the brush. He’s been brave enough to go out into the interior of Australia and embrace it with love, absorb himself in it like a true poet.” In an Olsen you can recognize “the topography” despite “the felicity of his brush”. What’s more, says Pearce, “He’s been getting better. His last few shows have proved he’s a real genius.”

Olsen has won many awards including the Archibald Prize in 2004 for his self-portrait, the Wynne Prize in 1969 and 1985; he also received an Order of Australia (A.O.) in 2001. In 1977 he was awarded the O.B.E. for services to the Arts and in 1993 he was awarded an Australian Creative Fellowship.

John Olsen’s work is represented in all Australian state gallery collections, the National Gallery of Australia and regional galleries Australia-wide. He is also represented in institutional, corporate and private collections in Australia, Asia, the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States of America. He is probably best known for his huge Salute to five bells, a 70 x 10 foot mural in the northern foyer of the Sydney Opera House.

John Olsen Limited Edition Etchings and Works on Paper from Etching House.

THE EXTENT OF JOHN OLSON’S talent was recognized when he exhibited in the ‘Direction 1’ exhibition held in 1956 at Macquarie Galleries, Sydney. Immediately following this influential exhibition he left the shores of Australia and embarked on a three-year privately sponsored journey to Europe. He sailed on the Orion in December 1956. After six weeks traveling via Cape Town and the Canary Islands, he arrived in London in January 1957.

Olsen remembers, ‘It was a bleak winter’s day and the atmosphere was rather depressing’. Several months later, after a brief visit to Cornwall, he traveled to Paris and was re-acquainted with an old art school friend, Earle Backen.

Backen was studying with the English-born print maker S.W. Hayter in Montparnasse. Olsen, impressed by Hayter’s philosophy and methods, immediately signed up and began working in one of die most advanced print workshops in the world – Stanley Hayter’s Atelier 17′.

Olsen was twenty-eight years old. He had already studied at the best art schools Sydney had to offer: firstly with Desiderius Orban for ten weeks at Circular Quay and then, from 1950 to 1953, at Julian Ashton’s at The Rocks.

Interestingly, both these schools were right on Sydney Harbor, a theme that was to stay with Olsen all his life. It was at the Julian Ashton Art School that Olsen began to develop his life-long dedication to drawing.

His teacher, John Passmore, was relentless in his demands for graphic veracity. All had to be examined – anatomy, bones and die muscular and understood in the terms of function. Graphic marks are the essence of Olsen’s work, be they in prints or in large paintings such as Spanish Encounter in die Art Gallery of New South Wales or his Five Bells in die Sydney Opera House.

Orban had worked in Paris at the time Cubism was breaking through. He claimed to have known Picasso and became quite famous as a teacher of a colorful blend of Post-Impressionist and Cubist styles. He advocated the idea that creativity was achieved through a balance of the perceived and die spiritual worlds; ideas that would later fuel Olsen’s interest in Zen Buddhism. But it was really John Passmore, whom Olsen met at Ashton’s, who made a lasting impression, ‘I am eternally grateful for his encouragement in my student years’, says Olsen, ‘Passmore had great insights into the subtleties of drawing’.
Olsen was doing it tough at the time. He was up at four in the morning cleaning offices before starting classes at eight thirty. The curriculum at Ashton’s centered on life drawing on Monday and Friday, life-painting on Wednesday, and evening classes three times a week. On his days off Olsen could be found in the life-drawing classes of Godfrey Miller at the East Sydney Technical College.

Orban, Miller, and Passmore these were magic names for anyone aspiring to become an artist in the 1950s and early 1960s in Sydney. Orban had die style of a Hungarian patrician (appropriately so);

Miller had a private income. He lived as a recluse in Paddington, and was one of the most eccentric artists ever to lift a pencil in Sydney.

In the studio Olsen was working it out. His first major series, die key works of die fifties, were his ‘Bicycle Boys’. Here he took the Orban/ Miller/Passmore inheritance right to the edge. It was art abstracted from realism (dial is, if you take ‘realism’ to mean aspects of die perceived world) to which Olsen added a map, or chart of the spiritual responses to such physical stimuli. Olsen’s line had started as a walk that was soon to become a run, and by 1960 – in his triumphal painting of his memories of Spain entitled Spanish Encounter – it became a ball-tearing, testosterone-packed gallop.

Olsen’s bicycles, however, had their familiarity of paired figures. These were initially influenced by the horse and rider drawings and sculptures of the Italian master, Marino Marini, and the film, The Bicycle Thief, by Vittorio de Sica. Yet Olsen’s bicycles still described at one moment in time, from a single viewpoint, a frozen instant or episode – not the whole journey described from numerous moments in time and different viewpoints. These images were still cycling through nineteenth century space as prescribed by Cezanne and Passmore. But, the race had begun. His bicycles provided both structure and story; line and mass; armature and flesh. Line is offered as a framework on which those rectilinear forms are rubbed and scrubbed.

What was actually happening was a de-figuring of painting, releasing it from the outline of the perceived world. Mark-making was still a profusion of short staccato strokes, like Cezanne who always seemed unsure of how many commas to use, or when to stop the painting. It was a dry, intellectual process of reiteration in the studio of the styles of Keith Vaughan in London (whom Passmore had known when they both worked at die Lintas advertising agency) and across the channel in the paintings of Vieira da Silva, Manessier, Bazaine and others of the School of Paris.

There were many other influences around at die time. Students at Ashton’s and East Sydney Technical School fingered the pages of Werner Haftmann’s monograph on Paul Klee. Everyone wanted to take a ‘line for a walk’, paint a magic square, and make the invisible visible as advocated by this Swiss whiz Paul Klee, Bauhaus master and author of the influential text, The Thinking Eye. Kandinsky’s On the Spiritual in Art was popular also. It was, as the Australian art critic Robert Hughes recalled decades later -in his book Nothing if not Critical (1990) – as if… there is no tyranny like the tyranny of the unseen masterpiece … .In Australia we had art schools teaching people how to paint Cézannes, but our museums had no Cézannes to show us’.
So, when Sydney businessman, Robert Shaw, offered the possibility of private sponsorship for Olsen to work in Europe, to study in the flesh dies paintings he had only seen in reproduction, there was no hesitation on his part.

See John Olsen fine art prints and etchings with Etching House at the Sydney Melbourne Brisbane Affordable Art Show.

Etching House, John Olsen has since the 1970s sold almost 2300 works of art in the Australian market, in 2009 to date there has been 139 alone.

In 2006 Hobart, John Olsen’s “Love in the Kitchen” sold for $1,075,500 at Auction.


With the introduction of new technology from the digital world (which Australians have embraced incredibly well), has made some archive collections from some iconic Australian artist like John Olsen, Norman Lindsay, Jeffrey Smart, Charles Blackman very affordable and above all accessible.

Etching House is a passionate supporter in helping to bring these John Olsen etchings and fine art print art works to the Australian Public at affordable prices.  Etching House specializes in etchings, fine art limited edition prints hand signed, silk screen works, and other artworks by John Olsen.

Etching House specializes in the trading of Australian artist limited edition fine art digital reproduction prints often referred to as Giclee digital prints which are all hand signed unless other wise stated, in the case of John Olsen fine art prints and etchings they are all hand signed by John Olsen.

John Olsen Digital Giclee prints are made using quality pigmented inks on 100% rag cotton fiber mold made water color paper that comes in either 256 or 300gsm stock which is pH neutral, acid and lignin free. This bright white paper contains calcium carbonate as a buffer for atmospheric acids. Etching House finds as many customers do a 40x35mm white timber molding and a pure rag mat set of these masterful reproductions to a class of their own suiting nearly all locations. Etching House also suggests using genuine non reflective, UV resistant ART Glass.

Upon request they come with certificates of authenticity and have a small frog copyright symbol in each corner.

Etching House makes buying and collection John Olsen fine art paintings, etchings and Giclee prints affordable with ease, check out our 12 month lay buy program…… contact Etching House Phone 0413 007 054…….

John Olsen feels these Australian fine art hand signed limited edition reproduction prints are a way for art lovers to be able acquire an affordable piece of his wonderful fine art works as there is only one original painting, or an original works on paper or a water colour painting often in a private collection often never to be seen by the public.

The public now has the opportunity to see and own a copyright protected image of that specific original master piece.

While John Olsen’s traditional fine art etchings prints silkscreen’s Lithographs have brought so much joy to the public, the new Giclee Digital reproductions made it possible to let the public enjoy his work but never as affordable or special or as large as these Giclee print works. With the Australian fine art edition quality prints they can enjoy his fine paintings and works on paper even more so.


Etching House has a extensive range of John Olsen limited edition fine art handmade original Etchings, Etching Prints, and digital giclee prints.

John Olsen etchings and prints are hand signed by John Olsen, titled and numbered, Lay Buy is welcome up to 12 months on 20% deposit No fees,

Below is a list of Hand made and signed Etching Print works released by John Olsen, this list is dynamic and may change without notice,

Afternoon 2004,

Art World 2005,


Artist & Fish Bowl 2006,

Being Young 2000,

Being Young 2000 mono colour,

Belly Dancer 2001,

Bird and Grasshopper 2002,

Bird and Tea Pot 2000,

Bondi Ice bergs 2007,

Boy and Waterfall 2001,

Camel 2000,

Camel 2004,

Cats Dinner 2006,

Cormorant at the Barrage,

Crow and Tea Pot mono colour 2000,

Dingoes at Night,

Dinner 2005,

Dragonfly & Frogs 2005,

Don’t kill that fly 2007

Emus at the Coorong 2004

Fat Cat 2005 2 Colours,

Feeding the Cats 2005 2 Colours,

Filleting 2004,

Fish 2000,

Fish (blue-small) 2004,

Fish Kettle 2002,

Frog (small) 2004,

Frog and Hand 2000,

Frog Pond  2004,

Frog Surprised  2002,

Girl and Fish  2002,

Girl and Sea Objects 2002,

Hand and Watch 2000,

Heat wave 2001,

Heron and Frog 2001,

Landscape near Coolah,

Landscape with Hare 2001,

Life Class 2001,

LIFE CLASS 2006, a Set of 8 Etchings,

Lily Pond 2006,

Lucio’s 2003,

Mating 2005 2 colours,

Mistaken Identity 2005,

Mother and Child 2000,

Murray River Barrage 2006,

Nude and fish bowl 2002,

Octopus 2004,

Owl 2005 PJPA,

Owl (small) 2001,

Owl 2003,

Owl II 2003,

Paella (Small) 2004,

Paella 2004,

Pelican 2005,

Pelicans & Chicks 2004,

Penguin 2004,

***Rainy Morning 2005,

Scrub Turkey & King Leopold Ranges,

Spider Monkey and Apple 2000,

Spider Monkeys I 2000,

Spider Monkeys II 2000,

Still Life I 2004 2 colours,

Still Life II 2004 2 colours,

Summer at Owls wood 10 images,

Sydney Harbour Seaport of Desire 2002,

The Bouquet 2003,

The Bridge 2004,

The Catch 2005,

The Critic  2005 2 colours,

The Escape 2002,

The Fish (black) 2002,

The Gourmet 2003,

The Prawn   2002,

The Quay 2003,

The Sea 2004,

Three Graces 2006,

Toad Fish 2004,

Waiting 2001,

Waterfall 2001,

Artworks by John Olsen, fine art limited edition prints of original John Olsen paintings,all artworks prints etchings are hand signed John Olsen and numberd,  many of these works are available from Etching House, tiltes of works are,

The Sydney Sun 82.0 x 108.0 or 107.5 x 142.1,
Tropical Lily Pond 59.0 x 137.0,
Popping Blue Bottles 89.0 x 96.0 or 108.5 x 116.6,
Spring at Rydal 59.2 x 120.2    or 89.0 x 185.0,
The Little River 92.5 x 89.0 or 113.8 x 109.4,
Broken Egg & Summer Landscape 96.3 x 110.0 or 109.3 x 124.9,
Poet’s Garden 84.6 x 109.0 or 108.3 x 140.0,
Lily Pond 2004 89.6 x 102.0 or 109.7 x 125.0,
Lake Eyre 2004 89.6 x 95.3 or 109.0 x 116.0,
Wet Season 93.0 x 89.6 or 113.6 x 109.4,
Onkaparinga Hills, Blue Wren & Fox SA 83.0 x 104.0 or 109.0 x 137.0,
Spoonbill and Egret 1983 79.8 x 107.0,
Jacanas – The Christ Bird 80.4 x 107.0,
Waterbirds 80.6 x 107.0,
Cormorant and Jacanas 83.0 x 107.0,
Lake Eyre 1975 95.5 x 89.6 or 116.8 x 109.5,
Wetlands 2000 84.4 x 103.0,
Wetlands 1985 84.8 x 110 or 104.0 x 135.3,
Frogs and Banana Leaf 93.5 x 89.2 or 114.7 x 109,
Sqid With its Own Ink,
The Bouillabase,
Five Bells,
Lily Pond North Queensland,
The little Universe of The Sous Chef 2011,
Lake Eyre The Desert Sea 111 2012,
Lake Eyre The Desert Sea V11,
Lake Eyre The Desert Sea 11 2012,
The Gourmet,
The Little River 2000,
Spring Tide Sydney Harbour 2011,
Lake Eyre The desert Sea 1X,
Wet Season 1997,
Complete Graphics 1957-2005,
Photograph John Olsen,
Sunday Morning Tree Frogs,
Tree Frogs,
Giraffes at Mt Kenya II,
Giraffes at Mt Kenya 2010,
Bondi Rose Fingered Dawn,
MT Kenya,
The Japanese Kite,
Monkey and Giraffe,
Falling Frog 2011,
Frog Pond 2011,
Frog and Fly,
The Big Wet 201,0
Giraffes Approaching,
Tropical Lily Pond 2006,
Popping Blue Bottles II,
John Olsen Sydney Sun Framed samples,
Frog Dance,
Frog Celebration After Storm,
Desert Flowers,
Palm Beach Popping Blue Bottles,
Frog Pond 2017,
Dancing Frog 2017,
Kimberley Wet Season,
Hanging Tree Frog,
Frog Swimming,
Harbour Pool,
Kangaroo Country,
The French Bath,
Darlinghurst Cats,
People Who Live on Victoria Street,
John Olsen Giclee reproduction prints and handmade etchings and artworks are mostly made on pure archival rag mat paper some such as on 100% 308gsm thick archival acid free cotton rag water colour paper using archival pigment ink.


 Etching House list is of published John Olsen hand signed digital giclee reproduction fine art prints, the list indicates the limited edition sizes published, image sizes, all John Olsen prints are titled, numbered and signed by the hand of John Olsen, This is a dynamic list and may or may not be up to date or accurate.

edition size of 250,

Sydney Sun   82.0 x 108.0 or 107.5 x 142.1,

Tropical Lily Pond   59.0 x 137.0,

Popping Blue Bottles    89.0 x 96.0 or 108.5 x 116.6,


edition size of 150,

Spring at Rydal 59.2 x 120.2    or 89.0 x 185.0,


edition size of 99,

The Little River 92.5 x 89.0 or 113.8 x 109.4,

Broken Egg & Summer Landscape 96.3 x 110.0 or 109.3 x 124.9,

Poet’s Garden 84.6 x 109.0 or 108.3 x 140.0,

Lily Pond 2004 89.6 x 102.0 or 109.7 x 125.0,

Lake Eyre 2004 89.6 x 95.3 or 109.0 x 116.0,

Wet Season 93.0 x 89.6 or 113.6 x 109.4,

Onkaparinga Hills, Blue Wren & Fox SA 83.0 x 104.0 or 109.0 x 137.0,

Spoonbill and Egret      79.8 x 107.0,

Jacanas – The Christ Bird 80.4 x 107.0,

Waterbirds 80.6 x 107.0,

Cormorant and Jacanas 83.0 x 107.0    N/A,

Lake Eyre 1975 95.5 x 89.6 or 116.8 x 109.5,

Wetlands 2000 84.4 x 103.0,

Wetlands 1985 84.8 x 110 or 104.0 x 135.3,

Frogs and Banana Leaf 93.5 x 89.2 or 114.7 x 109.4

Etching House has over 80 John Olsen fine art limited edition etching and print images available.

Etching House specialize in Fine art, Etchings and prints by Iconic Australian artist like – John Olsen, Jeffrey Smart, Tim Storrier, Garry Shead, and Norman Lindsay.

John Olsen hand signed and titled reproduction fine art limited edition print titled “Anticipation” and “Waiting” Sold Out……….Etching House.

John Olsen hand signed and titled reproduction fine art limited edition print “Mt Kenya” Sold Out……….Etching House.

John Olsen Sydney Sun, Anticipation and many other artworks by John Olsen can be seen at Etching House Melbourne and Sydney Art Show.

The use of fine art rag mat paper and quality pigment ink are still the key ingredients.

The original capture of the work being produced is by high tech digital means, or film in some cases.

The product source is from an original painting often from the archive of a life time’s work.

The objective is to make an affordable range of fine art prints that are produced digitally for efficiency, cost and quality.

In the case of a few artists like Jeffrey Smart, Norman Lindsay, John Olsen, Margaret Olley, Tim Storrier it has been their objective to share with the public an accessible affordable body of art works of their archive presence and availability of works for the future generations to enjoy.

Many original paintings by many of the iconic Australian artists are in private collections often never to be seen again by the public.

The one thing that Etching House is passionate about is that the works of art are represented for what they are, each type of work and medium has its place, by price, by medium, by artist and as one may rightly assume there is not a lot of money in these fine art digital reproductions but oh so rewarding to see them make people happy.

When one considers the costs, the true benefit is for the public to be able to enjoy and afford a representation of their favorite iconic Australian artist of their choice.

Etching House is in business for the love and passion of Etchings prints and digital prints, it is the best way Etching House can share the world of art with the wider Australian public.

A collection of John Olsen fine art is available at Etching House Sydney and Melbourne affordable art show.

John Olsen Etchings and Prints on fine art rag paper with pigment ink available at Etching House, lay buy welcome.

John Olsen original etching, Jump 1, Jump 2, and fine art reproduction limited edition prints tiled Sydney Sun, Anticipation, Popping Blue Bottles, Wet Season 1997, Etching Studio, and Five Bells all available while stocks last.

At Etching House we deal in John Olsen fine art Etchings, prints, works on paper, paintings, limited edition painting reproduction prints, water colour art work on paper, limited edition prints, and collectable prints.

John Olsen Fine Art at Melbourne annual affordable art fair stands A7 Etching House.

John Olsen 1976 etching collection just arrived for sale, won’t last.

John Olsen book titled collector’s edition for sale Etching House.

Rare John Olsen art works for sale at Etching House.

John Olsen art for sale on lay buy program at Etching House.

Five Bells original oil painting by John Olsen Australian Artist born 1921 January 1928.

The following information is a comparison to the limited edition fine art reproduction of Five Bells Print.

Reproduction -Title Five Bells – Edition 250 sheet size 91x94cm large, 112x116cm extra-large.

Signed Lower right and titled by John Olsen. Frog and Fly limited edition fine art colored frog print, edition 90 released June 2011, John Olsen new Frog and Fly at Etching House selling fast.

Original painting works –

Title…….Five bells – Original painting Year 1963 Painting Oil on hardboard Dimensions 264.5 x 274.0cm, Signed and dated in the lower right corner, “John Olsen ’63”.

Affordable John Olsen fine art titled Popping Blue Bottles, Sydney Sun, Anticipation, and Tropical Lilly pond, Frog and Fly and Five Bells at Etching House.

Australian affordable fine art prints etchings by John Olsen.

Anniversary or birthday gift John Olsen fine art etching and print from Etching House Gallery.

News from Etching House Paintings prints Etchings Photography –

Etching House specialize in John Olsen fine art prints as well as paintings, etchings, as well as fine art and photography from many other Australian iconic and up and coming artist, example, with fine art Landscape there is Jason Benjamin, Fine art Photography of Landscape and nature by Paul Woolveridge, contemporary fine art photography by A.I.P.P master photographer David Oliver and Robert Billington who have brought some amazing limited edition prints to Etching House, available in color and black and white. Etching House is a leading supplier of Australian fine art photography, fine art paintings, etching, prints by the iconic artist such as Norman Lindsay, Jeffrey Smart, Garry Shead, John Olsen, Jasper Knight, Hugh Sawrey, Michael Leunig, Margaret Olley, Tim Storrier, Charles Blackman, Ray Crooke, Pro Hart, Sidney Nolan, David Boyd, Frank Hodgkinson, Arthur Boyd along with works of fine art by Jamie Boyd, Lin Onus, Jason Benjamin, Fred Cress, Melissa Egan, Barbie Kjar, Malcolm Jagamarra, Clifton Pugh, Sidney Nolan, Anthony Lister, Helen Norton, and Salvatore Zofrea.

Etching House also may provide professional framing for your John Olsen print with services available in Melbourne and Sydney, Etching House Ships directly door to door as well as by Australia Post.

Etching House by arrangement may call to your office or home if requested and show selected works. If you are looking for art for investment or just enjoyment please let us know, Etching House Buy Sell Trade and consignee works of fine art for sale. Etching House also supplies a network of Galleries around Australia with selected stock on a wholesale and semi wholesale basis, talk to Etching House to see if you are eligible for this product.

Etching House has over 25 years of experience in the field of buying selling and trading in Australian fine art paintings, etchings, works on paper and fine art prints by John Olsen.


Etching House makes buying and collection fine art paintings, etchings and prints by Australian artist affordable and possible with ease.

Etching House now ship John Olsen fine art prints and etchings to London, Hong Kong Beijing.

The Iconic Frog collection by John Olsen 2009 -2012 at Etching House current status as follows – John Olsen   “Frog and Fly” Just arrived at Etching house

John Olsen   “The Big Wet” Available at Etching House

John Olsen   “Frog Pond 2011” Released late 2011 now in stock at Etching House

John Olsen   “Waiting” finished edition

John Olsen   “Tree Frogs” Popular, released in 2011, 1 available at Etching House

John Olsen   “Sunday Morning Tree Frogs” Popular limited edition started in 2011, in stock at Etching House.

John Olsen   “Anticipation” finished edition from 2009 it has sold out and seen some appreciation on resale. This is a truly exceptional image.