Skip to main content

Robert H. Black MD, c. 1950

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
Gift of the artist 1999
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Accession number: 1999.51

Currently not on display

Copyright image request form
Request a digital copy of an image for publication

Artist and subject

Nora Heysen (age 39 in 1950)

Robert Hughes Black ED BS FRACP (age 33 in 1950)

Subject professions

Health and medicine

© National Portrait Gallery 2020
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196
The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Ngunnawal people, the traditional custodians of the land upon which the NPG stands.