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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.

The Derby Day at Flemington, c. 1890

Carl Kahler and Goupil & Cie (engraver)

photogravure on paper (frame: 102.5 cm x 132.5 cm, sheet: 61.7 cm x 90.3 cm, plate-mark: 59.2 cm x 87.7 cm, image: 49.2 cm x 79.6 cm)

Austrian-born Carl Kahler arrived in Melbourne in 1885 and commenced a successful portrait practice, but is best remembered for three major works depicting Melbourne’s Flemington racecourse. These works were highly praised in contemporary newspapers, and photographic reproductions were soon made by the famous firm of Goupil in Paris. The Derby Day at Flemington is an important nineteenth century group portrait, a key to the figures represented naming 69 individuals including Sir Henry Brougham Loch, governor of Victoria; the Duke of Manchester; the artist; and ‘Trident’, the winner of the 1886 Victoria Racing Club Derby. Flemington racecourse, the oldest continuing metropolitan racecourse in Australia, has operated since horse races were first held on the site in 1840. The VRC Derby, first run in 1855, is traditionally the curtain-raiser for the Spring Racing Carnival, and is now as noted for its place on the fashion calendar as it is as a thoroughbred racing fixture. Fittingly, Kahler’s image of the 1886 race has been of great interest to historians of Australian costume.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2001

Accession number: 2001.180

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Carl Kahler (age 35 in 1890)

Goupil & Cie (age 61 in 1890)

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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.