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.

Nora Heysen inside her home, Hunters Hill, Sydney

2000
Sage

gelatin silver photograph, sepia toned on paper (sheet: 40.5 cm x 30.5 cm, image: 24.6 cm x 21.3 cm)

Nora Heysen AM (1911–2003) was one of Australia's most accomplished portrait artists. Her self-portrait of 1934 was an early acquisition of the National Portrait Gallery. This interior photograph shows Heysen with a painting from her Ruth series, depicting a mighty farmgirl against the background of the Flinders Ranges. The portrait photographer Sage made this image of Heysen at the home in which she lived for most of her life. Sage was born in Wales, and his first photographs were of Welsh miners and their families during the UK miners' strike of the late 1980s. He studied documentary photography with the Magnum photographer David Hurn, and has worked as a photojournalist for the Sydney Morning Herald.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2001
© Sage

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

Sage (age 37 in 2000)

Nora Heysen AM (age 89 in 2000)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Donated by

Sage (5 portraits)

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.

Nora Heysen

'This peaceful spot'

Portrait story

Australian artist, Nora Heysen, discusses her childhood and the development of her career.

Self portrait, 1645
Self portrait, 1645
Self portrait, 1645
Self portrait, 1645

The considered life

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2010

Andrew Sayers asks whether a portrait can truly be the examination of a life.

© 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