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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.

John Howard and Janette Howard

2000
Josonia Palaitis

oil on canvas (frame: 154.0 cm x 154.0 cm, support: 130.0 cm x 130.0 cm)

The Hon. John Howard OM AC (b. 1939) was Prime Minister of Australia from 1996 to 2007. A lawyer by profession, he was elected as the Federal Member for Bennelong in 1974, and was returned to the Parliament at every ensuing Federal election until late 2007, when he became the second Australian Prime Minister to lose his own seat in a general election. Howard described his wife, Janette (b. 1944) – the first Chief Patron of the National Portrait Gallery – as the 'love of his life' and his 'rock'. He remains Australia's second longest-serving Prime Minister, behind Robert Menzies – the focus of Howard's The Menzies Era (2014).

To prepare for this portrait, Josonia Palaitis took many informal photographs of the couple in the grounds at Kirribilli House, the Prime Minister's official Sydney residence. The Howards viewed the portrait several times over the course of the 650 hours it took Palaitis to create it. 'Foremost in my mind', Palaitis said, 'was to portray, in whatever way, a sense of relationship between the couple', whom she found 'sincere and unpretentious'.

Commissioned with funds provided by the Founding Patron, L Gordon Darling AC CMG 2000
© Josonia Palaitis/Copyright Agency, 2021

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Josonia Palaitis (age 51 in 2000)

The Hon. John Howard OM AC (age 61 in 2000)

Janette Howard (age 56 in 2000)

Supported by

The Gordon Darling Foundation (36 portraits supported)

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.

Bob Hawke
Bob Hawke
Bob Hawke
Bob Hawke

Primed

Some Prime Ministers

Previous exhibition, 2019

Seventeen of Australia’s thirty prime ministers to date are represented in the contrasting sizes, moods and mediums of these portraits.

Elle Macpherson
Elle Macpherson
Elle Macpherson
Elle Macpherson

Australian Visit

Previous exhibition, 2006

The exhibition will include works of art from the NPG Canberra's permanent collection with some inward loans and aims to highlight the achievements of notable Australians.

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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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 past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency