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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.

Ambrose Hallen, 1937

Lina Bryans

oil on composition board (frame: 108.0 cm x 101.5 cm, support: 96.5 cm x 89.8 cm)

Ambrose Hallen (1886-1943) was an Australian modernist artist whose work went largely unrecognised in this country. He lived for some thirty years in France, and his work was to retain the influence of the Ecole de Paris artists with whom he was acquainted. In the late 1930s he taught painting in Melbourne.

Lina Bryans was central to the introduction of modernist techniques and philosophy to the Melbourne art establishment. She recognised the international context of Hallens's work, respected his knowledge, and was attuned to his intellectual interest in the place of the artist in society. Bryans was friendly with many leading literary and artistic figures. Between 1937 and 1974 she painted more than seventy portraits of her circle, of which this was the first.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Sir James and Lady Cruthers 2001

Accession number: 2001.12

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Lina Bryans (age 28 in 1937)

Ambrose Hallen (age 51 in 1937)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

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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.

Yellow portrait (portrait of Alex Jelinek), 1955 Lina Bryans
Yellow portrait (portrait of Alex Jelinek), 1955 Lina Bryans
Yellow portrait (portrait of Alex Jelinek), 1955 Lina Bryans
Yellow portrait (portrait of Alex Jelinek), 1955 Lina Bryans

Fugue in Yellow

Magazine article by Roger Benjamin, 2015

Roger Benjamin explores the intriguing union of Lina Bryans and Alex Jelinek.

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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.