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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.

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Captain Francis de Groot

1932
Harold Cazneaux

gelatin silver photograph on paper (image/sheet: 19.0 cm x 27.0 cm)

Francis Edward de Groot (1888-1969) has gone down in Australian folklore as the horseman who charged onto the Sydney Harbour Bridge on the day of its opening, 19 March 1932, and cut the ceremonial ribbon with a sword in front of Premier Jack Lang and some 300 000 onlookers. De Groot, an antique dealer, was a member of Eric Campbell's New Guard, a right-wing, monarchist, anti-communist, paramilitary organisation who sought to save NSW from 'complete Sovietisation'. This photograph by Harold Cazneaux, a conspicuous and influential Sydney photographer, is backdated to refer to the sensational event. Eric Campbell contrived to borrow the horse, Mick, in Pymble from a Miss Margot Reichard, who believed de Groot was on his way to take part in the official ceremony. Later de Groot visited the Reichards' property to pose on Mick for Cazneaux.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 1999

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Harold Cazneaux (age 54 in 1932)

Captain Francis Edward de Groot (age 44 in 1932)

Subject professions

Activism

Military

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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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