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Peter O'Shaughnessy
, 1947

by Howard Matthews

oil on canvas

Peter O'Shaughnessy (b.1923), actor and producer, has produced many Australian plays and acted the major Shakespearian tragic roles both in Australia and overseas. He is noted for his interpretation of Samuel Beckett's plays and one-act performances of Diary of a Madman, adapted from Gogol. In 1968 he collaborated with Graeme Inson and Russel Ward on a lavishly illustrated anthology, The Restless Years, based on his award-winning television program of the same name.

Part of the Melbourne intellectual avant-garde of the 1940s, Howard Matthews was a brilliant student. He is said to have introduced Sidney Nolan to the poetry of Rimbaud and Verlaine.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 1999
Accession number: 1999.39