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Robert H. Black MD
, c. 1950

by Nora Heysen

oil on canvas laid on composition board (frame: 94.4 cm x 79.0 cm, support: 78.0 cm x 59.0 cm)

Dr Robert Black ED BS FRACP (1917-1988) was a world authority on malaria and Professor of Tropical Medicine in the Commonwealth Institute of Health, University of Sydney from 1963 to 1982. His research and work with the World Health Organisation (WHO) was instrumental in controlling malaria in the armed forces in Australia and in developing countries. He is the only Australian to have been awarded the Darling Foundation Medal and Prize by WHO (1986).

Dr Robert Black met Nora Heysen while she was a war artist in New Guinea. They married in 1953, and this portrait was painted at their home in College Street, Sydney. The background includes a view of the Port Jackson figs in Hyde Park, seen from their balcony.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of the artist 1999
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 1999.51