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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.

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

Accession number: 1999.22

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Harold Cazneaux (age 54 in 1932)

Captain Francis Edward de Groot (age 44 in 1932)

Subject professions

Activism

Military

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Ethel Turner, 1928 Harold Cazneaux
Ethel Turner, 1928 Harold Cazneaux
Ethel Turner, 1928 Harold Cazneaux
Ethel Turner, 1928 Harold Cazneaux

Moving in creative circles

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2008

Harold Cazneaux's portraits of influential Sydneysiders included Margaret Preston and Ethel Turner, both important figures in the development of ideas about Australian identity and culture.

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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.