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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.

Anthony Dattilo Rubbo, 1935

Arthur Murch

ciment fondu, patinated

Antonio Dattilo Rubbo (1870–1955), artist and art teacher, was born in Naples and undertook classical art training in Italy. He arrived in Sydney in 1897 and soon became the major competitor of the art teacher Julian Ashton. Grace Cossington Smith, Roland Wakelin and Roy de Maistre were all Rubbo’s students. The first modernist paintings in Australia arose from his openness to new ideas, and his studio was the venue for stimulating talks by artists who had been able to travel and observe developments in art overseas. However, he painted in a conventional style himself, and later publicly condemned the modern art that he had promoted. He was a member of the Brother Brushes of Bondi, started the Atelier Club, and helped to found both the Manly Art Gallery and Historical Collection and the Dante Alighieri Art and Literary Society.

Arthur Murch, sculptor and painter, was one of the many significant Australian modernist artists to have trained at Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo’s school in Sydney.


Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2000

Accession number: 2000.10

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Arthur Murch (age 33 in 1935)

Anthony Dattilo Rubbo (age 65 in 1935)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

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.

Miss Evelyn Chapman, 1918
Miss Evelyn Chapman, 1918
Miss Evelyn Chapman, 1918
Miss Evelyn Chapman, 1918

Lovers of light

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2008

Dr Sarah Engledow traces the significant links between Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo and Evelyn Chapman through their portraits.

Sidney Myer, 1936 Paul Montford
Sidney Myer, 1936 Paul Montford
Sidney Myer, 1936 Paul Montford
Sidney Myer, 1936 Paul Montford

Four from the 30s

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2003

Australia's tradition of sculpted portraits stretches back to the early decades of the nineteenth century and continues to sustain a group of dedicated sculptors.

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The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

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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.