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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.

Major General Paul Cullen

2002
Mathew Lynn

oil on canvas (122.0 cm x 91.0 cm)

Major General Paul Cullen AC CBE DSO and BAAR ED (Rtd) (1909–2007) was a soldier, banker, welfare executive and grazier. He served with exceptional distinction on many fronts in the Second World War, particularly on the Kokoda Track and in the Wewak campaign. After the war he became the first president of the Citizen Military Forces Association (later the Army Reserve). Having formed Australia’s first unit trust before the war, in 1950 he formed Australia’s first merchant bank, Mainguard (Australia) Ltd. Over time he became the president of Austcare, the Refugee Council of Australia, the Australian Jewish Welfare Society for Refugees and the Royal Blind Society of New South Wales. In 1981 he received the Nansen Medal from the United Nations, in recognition of his work on behalf of refugees.

Mathew Lynn painted this forthright portrait of Cullen over a series of meetings at Cullen’s grazing property in the Southern Highlands, and in his own studio in Sydney. On one occasion he rode out with Cullen to muster some cattle. The old soldier rounded them up, but asked Lynn to count them, as his sight was no longer what it was. Later he joked that Lynn is a better painter than horseman.

Gift of the New South Wales Jewish War Memorial 2002
© Mathew Lynn

Artist and subject

Mathew Lynn (age 39 in 2002)

Major General Paul Cullen AC CBE DSO (age 93 in 2002)

Related portraits

1. Catherine Livingstone, 2018. All Mathew Lynn.

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.

Catherine Livingstone

A conversation between artist and subject

Portrait story

Businesswoman Catherine Livingstone and artist Mathew Lynn.

All in the Family

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2002

Portrait launch of Major-General Paul Cullen AC CBE DSO and Bar ED (Rtd) and George Judah Cohen.

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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 National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency