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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 Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

Portrait of Jill Neville

1967 (completed 1997)
Reginald Gray

oil and egg tempera on canvas (frame: 43.0 cm x 34.0 cm, support: 33.0 cm x 24.0 cm)

Jill Neville (1932–1997), writer and critic, grew up in Sydney and attended a Blue Mountains boarding school. By the age of seventeen she was something of a muse to Sydney bohemians, but she left for London in the early 1950s, initially living on a Chelsea houseboat. When her brother Richard Neville arrived in London, she introduced him to people who helped launch the English incarnation of his magazine Oz, the first issues of which were published from her Bayswater home. In 1966 she published her first novel, Fall-Girl, which drew on her tumultuous relationships with the poets Peter Porter and Robert Lowell. Moving to Paris the following year, she went on to write six more novels, the last three of which, Last Ferry To Manly, Swimming the Channel and The Day We Cut the Lavender, explored the experience of individuals torn between Europe and Australia. Through the 1980s and early 1990s she was a regular reviewer for the Independent, the Times Literary Supplement, the Observer, London Magazine and the Australian.

A well-known portraitist, Reginald Gray began this portrait soon after he met Neville in Paris in 1967. They lost touch before it was completed, but he finished the canvas as a tribute to Neville when he heard the news of her death in 1997.

Gift of the artist 2002
© Reginald Gray

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

Reginald Gray (age 37 in 1967)

Jill Neville (age 35 in 1967)

Donated by

Reginald Gray (1 portrait)

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.

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

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