Savill Galleries

One of Australia’s leading Art Galleries in Sydney

Savill Galleries is one of Australia’s leading commercial art dealer galleries in Sydney, specialising in buying and selling major Australian paintings. Owner and Director Denis Savill, has been dealing primarily in secondary market paintings for over 30 years. Located in the Woollahra Paddington gallery precinct, in east Sydney, our art gallery has an extensive stockroom of over 1,500 art works including museum quality works by prominent Australian artists such as:

Charles Blackman, Arthur Boyd,  John Coburn, Ray Crooke, Robert Dickerson, William Dobell, Leonard French, Donald Friend, James Gleeson, Barry Humphries, Euan Macleod, Sidney Nolan, Margaret Olley, John Olsen, Lin Onus, John Perceval, Lloyd Rees, William Robinson, Garry Shead, Jeffrey Smart, Tim Storrier, Arthur Streeton, Brett Whiteley and Fred Williams.

Denis’ extensive knowledge and expertise in the art market makes him one of the most respected dealers in the country. After so many years in the game it’s no surprise Denis has repatriated over 1,000 paintings to Australia.

With a history spanning three decades, Savill Galleries in Sydney have bought and sold over 10,000 art works. Many of the pieces reside in important public and private collections in Australia and overseas, and others have been handled on more than one occasion by the gallery. Savill Galleries have hosted a variety of solo survey exhibitions which showcase the artist’s work from their early years to recent creations, as well as numerous mixed artist shows and events. Savill Galleries work closely with the artists, their estates and families.





After several years dealing art privately, Denis Savill buys the Gordon Marsh Gallery in Double Bay, Sydney.




Set world record for the highest priced painting sold in Australia, a J.A. Turner which sold for $350,000.




Denis Savill pays more than $100,000 for Frederick McCubbin’s Hauling Timber, Mount Macedon, which was on loan to the National Gallery of Victoria for nine years.




Gordon Marsh Gallery is renamed and rebranded as Savill Galleries. Establishes the sale record at the time for a Sydney Long oil when The West Wind 1916 is sold for approximately $100,000.




Purchased the gallery’s current premises at 156 Hargrave Street, Paddington.




Purchased Fredrick McCubbin’s Violet and Gold 1911 and sells to the Robert Holmes a Court Collection, Perth. This exquisite painting is later sold to the National Gallery of Australia and resides in their collection today.




Opening of newly renovated building which remains the current premises.




“Four Australian Modern Masters: Arthur Boyd, Sidney Nolan, Brett Whiteley and Fred Williams” exhibition is a huge success with Brett Whiteley’s Seagull selling for just under $280,000, setting the world record for the sale of his art work.




Purchases one of the rarest Charles Conder’s seen on the market for years, View of Sydney Harbour 1888, which sells for $700,000. The work then features in the Art Gallery of New South Wales “Bohemians in the Bush” exhibition exploring 19th Century artists’ camps in the Sydney Harbour.

1990 ---

Virginia Morrow takes over from Sally Sydney as Manager of Savill Galleries.




Margaret Olley purchases Horace Trenerry’s Seascape circa 1937 from Savill Galleries, and gifts it to the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Australia loses two of its most prominent artists, Sidney Nolan and Brett Whiteley. Denis Savill is one of the expert witnesses in the legal battle concerning Brett Whiteley’s estate.




Barry Humphries opens an exhibition of major works by Arthur Boyd reciting A New Ode to Arthur Boyd with both Arthur and Yvonne Boyd present. Seven works from the show are later loaned to the Art Gallery of NSW for the touring “Arthur Boyd Retrospective”. First solo survey exhibition of Arthur Boyd’s paintings at Savill Galleries.




The exhibition “100 years of Australian Art” including works by Arthur Streeton, Sidney Nolan, Arthur Boyd, Charles Blackman, Ray Crooke and Brett Whiteley, tours to Darwin, Western Australia which is the first exhibition its kind at Framed The Darwin Gallery.




Denis Savill sets off to London to repatriate Australian works and returns to Sydney with 42 works, fresh to their country of origin.




First solo survey exhibition of Charles Blackman’s paintings opens at Savill Galleries which includes several works from the artist’s Alice in Wonderland series. All works sell commencing the strong reputation for sales of Blackman’s art works. First solo survey exhibition of Sidney Nolan paintings of over 20 works including paintings from the artist’s Ned Kelly, Burke and Wills, Central Australia and Antarctic series.




Over $1 million of works by Charles Blackman are sold including just over $100,000 for Schoolgirl at Kooyong 1953. Local media publish rave reviews and the prices of Blackmans are on the rise.




Savill Galleries opens in Melbourne taking over the long established Ivanyi Gallery at 262 Toorak Road, South Yarra. Art Gallery of New South Wales purchases John Brack’s Head and Shoulder, Barbara Blackman 1954 from the gallery. Sells Sidney Nolan Glenrowan Tapestry. which is based on the painting of the same name, to the Benalla Art Gallery for $58,000 Denis Savill gifts a lovely Lloyd Rees’s work on paper to Bundanon Trust, Arthur and Yvonne Boyd’s gift to the Australian people which includes property and collections located on the Shoalhaven River in New South Wales.




First solo survey exhibition of John Olsen paintings takes place at the Melbourne gallery with a variety of aerial landscapes spanning from 1986 to 1996. Arthur Boyd passes away. First solo survey exhibition of Ray Crooke’s works launches at the Sydney gallery. The first solo survey exhibition of Leonard French follows later in the year and as the general economic climate improves, the art market starts growing and recovering from the downturn at the beginning of the decade.




Purchased and underbid many works from the Harold Mertz collection auction including Jeffrey Smart’s The Steps, Parma. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is introduced by the Howard Government, which impacts the art market as well as the general economic and social climate.




First solo survey exhibition of Robert Dickerson’s works at the Sydney gallery “Faces of the City” which includes oil paintings and charcoal works on paper. The first solo survey exhibition of Garry Shead’s oil paintings follows featuring works from the D.H. Lawrence, Erotic Muse and Dancer series.




After securing Lloyd Rees’ Woolwich 1957 at auction, Denis seeks the opinion of conservator David Stein who reveals a second painting underneath the canvas. Read the article the here.
First solo survey exhibition of Margaret Olley’s works in the Melbourne Gallery and her exquisite and ever popular paintings of still life and interiors sell rapidly.




Savill Galleries are entrusted with the sale of over 20 major paintings from the Estate of the late Lin Onus. The exhibition in the Melbourne gallery is a complete success and sells out within days.




A busy and productive year with nine catalogue exhibitions between the two galleries.




Art Gallery of New South Wales buys Sidney Nolan’s 'African Landscape' to further enrich their Nolan collection. Savill Galleries repatriated the work from London in 2000.




Art market booms. Sotheby’s sell $22 million of art including 22 works from the Qantas collection and John Brack's ballroom dancing painting The Old Time 1969 sells for $3.36 million against a pre-auction estimate of $600,000 to $800,000. Savill Galleries secure Garry Shead’s major oil from the Royal Suite series, The Bearer’s, for a world record price for the artist. Savill Galleries Melbourne host a solo survey exhibition of Barry Humphries art works “Wish You Were Here! Travels with a Brush”, which proves to be very popular. The gallery consolidates operations and closes the Melbourne gallery for exhibitions, but continues to service collectors in both capital cities, and all over the country to this day.




Denis Savill gifts John Perceval’s Floating Mask 1 from his private collection to the National Gallery of Australia. “An Australian Summer” exhibition tours to Melbourne in Bonhams & Goodman’s premises in Prahran.




Year commences with a catalogue of important Australian paintings with Brett Whiteley’s Balmoral 1975-78 on the cover. The work was deaccessioned from the Art Gallery of NSW collection to raise funds for the purchase of Cezanne’s Bords de la Marne.

2010 --- Major exhibitions held this year included a retrospective exhibition of Charles Blackman's work featuring the early Schoolgirl oil Gasometer painted in 1953. Another highlight was the Collectors Exhibition, that included works by Jeffrey Smart, Margaret Olley and Arthur Boyd amongst others.
2011 --- The retrospective exhibition Ray Crooke 'The People and the Land' was the first major for the year, which featured a strong collection of both his islander works together with his oils depicting remote Australia.
2012 ---

The first exhibition for the year was a retrospective Donald Friend exhibition with works dating from 1938. In May, Savill Galleries launched the exhibition 'Modern Masters' featuring the iconic Brett Whiteley oil 'Seagull (Japanese: The Screaming Voice) painted in 1988, which later sold to a private collector. The exhibiton also included major oils by artists Fred Williams, Sidney Nolan, Arthur Boyd and Garry Shead.

2013 --- Exhibition of recent works by Criss Canning.
2014 --- A major exhibition of works by Arthur Boyd is opened by Jack Thompson.
2015 --- A 75th Birthday celebration exhibition is held to mark Denis' birthday.
2016 ---

Savill Galleries announces that the gallery will close and will commence winding down the business.

A major auction of works was held by Sotheby's Australia in May, with another auciton held in September by Menzies, Fine Art Auctioneers.

Virginia Morrow ends her long tenure at Savill Galleries as Manager.

2017 ---

It is envisaged that Savill Galleries will close it's doors, mid-2017.