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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

About Face

Portrait treats and treatises

From punchy short pieces to longer form leanings, it's the place to come for a frequent fix of the world's most accessible art form.

Lord Kitchener
Lord Kitchener
Lord Kitchener

Lord Kitchener

Imperial strategist

by Angus Trumble, 7 March 2016

Once central to military strategy and venerated in patriotic households, Lord Kitchener is now largely forgotten.

Percy, Reginald, Monty and George Faithfull, undated by Henry Dorner. Image courtesy the National Museum of Australia.
Percy, Reginald, Monty and George Faithfull, undated by Henry Dorner. Image courtesy the National Museum of Australia.
Percy, Reginald, Monty and George Faithfull, undated by Henry Dorner. Image courtesy the National Museum of Australia.

An affray which deserves particular mention

Ben Hall and his gang outdone, 6 February 1865

by Joanna Gilmour, 6 February 2016

Bushranger Ben Hall and his cronies held around 40 people hostage in a pub north-west of Goulburn, telling their captives ‘don’t be alarmed; we only came here for a bit of fun’.

'Moses' by Michelangelo, c. 1513–1515
'Moses' by Michelangelo, c. 1513–1515
'Moses' by Michelangelo, c. 1513–1515

Not perspiring, but glowing.

The cultural history of radiance.

by Angus Trumble, 2 February 2016

Angus Trumble explores the creative manifestations of radiance.

Olga Radalyski prison records, on loan from the Public Record Office of Victoria.
Olga Radalyski prison records, on loan from the Public Record Office of Victoria.
Olga Radalyski prison records, on loan from the Public Record Office of Victoria.

The sensational denouement of the case

The Yarra Boot Trunk Tragedy, 12 January 1899

by Joanna Gilmour, 12 January 2016

The 'Yarra Boot Trunk Tragedy' unfolded a week before Christmas 1898, when some neighbourhood boys noticed a wooden box floating in the river at Richmond. 

Portrait of Captain James Cook RN
Portrait of Captain James Cook RN
Portrait of Captain James Cook RN

Robert Oatley AO

1928–2016

11 January 2016

The National Portrait Gallery mourns the loss of one our most generous benefactors, Robert Oatley AO.

James Mccabe Executed Jany. 6th 1826
James Mccabe Executed Jany. 6th 1826
James Mccabe Executed Jany. 6th 1826

The consolations of religion

A bushranger meets his maker, 6 January 1826

by Joanna Gilmour, 6 January 2016

James McCabe provides proof that hanging wasn’t necessarily a fate reserved for the perpetrators of murder and other deeds of darkest hue. 

Henry Louis Bertrand, ca. 1865 photographed by the Milligan Brothers. Collection of the State Library of NSW
Henry Louis Bertrand, ca. 1865 photographed by the Milligan Brothers. Collection of the State Library of NSW
Henry Louis Bertrand, ca. 1865 photographed by the Milligan Brothers. Collection of the State Library of NSW

A passion eating into your vitals

The ‘Mad Dentist of Wynyard Square’ in court, 18 December 1865

by Joanna Gilmour, 18 December 2015

The salacious and sordid details of Henry Kinder’s death transfixed Sydneysiders with a case combining murder with seduction, mesmerism, blackmail and poisoning.

Prison photograph of Ned Kelly c.1873, image courtesy National Museum of Australia.
Prison photograph of Ned Kelly c.1873, image courtesy National Museum of Australia.
Prison photograph of Ned Kelly c.1873, image courtesy National Museum of Australia.

The outlaws coolly disported themselves

Ned Kelly & co at Euroa, 9 and 10 December 1878

by Joanna Gilmour, 9 December 2015

'Each man arrayed himself in a new rig from head to foot, and even such luxuries as soaps and perfumery were not despised'

Andrew George Scott, alias Captain Moonlite, c.1879 attributed to Charles Nettleton
Andrew George Scott, alias Captain Moonlite, c.1879 attributed to Charles Nettleton
Andrew George Scott, alias Captain Moonlite, c.1879 attributed to Charles Nettleton

Diseased curiosity

Captain Moonlite et al on trial for murder

by Joanna Gilmour, 3 December 2015

Just after 10.00 o'clock on 3 December 1879, four prisoners were brought from their cells at Darlinghurst Gaol and placed in the dock of a courtroom heaving with agitated spectators

Louise, daughter of the Hon. L. L. Smith by Tom Roberts, 1888
Louise, daughter of the Hon. L. L. Smith by Tom Roberts, 1888
Louise, daughter of the Hon. L. L. Smith by Tom Roberts, 1888

An Australian in Paris

by Angus Trumble, 18 November 2015

This week it is impossible not to contemplate the ways in which France has touched many Australian lives.

Thomas Woolner
Thomas Woolner
Thomas Woolner

Missing Persons

Thomas Woolner in Australia

by Angus Trumble, 28 October 2015

Desperately seeking Woolner medallions

Death mask of George Melville courtesy of National Trust of Australia (Victoria), Old Melbourne Gaol Collection
Death mask of George Melville courtesy of National Trust of Australia (Victoria), Old Melbourne Gaol Collection
Death mask of George Melville courtesy of National Trust of Australia (Victoria), Old Melbourne Gaol Collection

A colourful story from Sideshow Alley

Infamy, the macabre & the portrait

by Joanna Gilmour, 27 October 2015

From infamous bushranger to oyster shop display, curator Jo Gilmour explores the life of George Melville.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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