Skip to main content

The National Portrait Gallery is temporarily closed to the public until further notice.

Menu

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.

Lloyd Rees at the Rock in 1975

1984
Roderick Shaw

oil and oil pastel on canvas (frame: 158.6 cm x 125.9 cm)

Lloyd Rees AC CMG (1895-1988) was one of Australia's most celebrated landscape painters. The Brisbane-born artist developed his technique with pen and ink drawings of the city before moving to Sydney in 1917 to work in a commercial art studio. In the early 1930s he concentrated solely on drawing, particularly the rocky landscapes around Sydney, but by the late 1930s he began painting in an increasingly romantic manner. He remained actively painting and drawing until his death in Hobart at the age of 93. Rees taught art history at the University of Sydney for a number of years, and was a favourite with students. Rod Shaw knew and admired Rees and has depicted him here in heroic guise. The work refers to Rees's trip to Central Australia in the mid-1970s, which resulted in his masterly series of paintings of Uluru and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas).

Roderick Shaw studied art at East Sydney Technical College, and worked during the war at the Commonwealth Aircraft factory, painting camouflage alongside William Dobell and Joshua Smith. After the war he worked as a designer and illustrator, and was also a printer of quality books, producing volumes of poems by A.D. Hope and David Campbell, among others. Shaw and Dick Edwards together established The Barn on the Hill press in 1939. They were later instrumental in ending the censorship of four letter words in Australia by publishing the banned report of the trial of Penguin books over Lady Chatterley's Lover. Shaw designed the mural for the Waterside Workers' Federation Office, and has become best known for his worker paintings of the social realist school, such as Cable Layers, owned by the Art Gallery of NSW. For many years he taught at workshops and summer schools, and he was a foundation member of Artists for Democracy and of Artists Against Nuclear War.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2001
© Estate of Roderick Shaw

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

Roderick Shaw (age 69 in 1984)

Lloyd Rees AC CMG (age 89 in 1984)

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.

The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance

The Gallery

Visit us, learn with us, support us or work with us! Here’s a range of information about planning your visit, our history and more!

The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night

Support your Portrait Gallery

We depend on your support to keep creating our programs, exhibitions, publications and building the amazing portrait collection!

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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 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