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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.

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 the Blue Mountains. From the age of 17 she was the darling of assorted Sydney bohemians, but she left for London in the early 1950s. 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, several of which explore the experience of individuals torn between Europe and Australia. Through the 1980s and early 90s she was a regular reviewer for the Independent, the Times Literary Supplement, the Observer, London Magazine and the Australian.

Reginald Gray is a professional portraitist living in Paris. Born in Dublin, he studied at the National College of Art, became a designer for the Pike and Gate Theatres in Dublin and the Lyric Theatre in London, and held his first one-man exhibition at the Abbott and Holder Gallery in London in 1960. In the late 1950s and early 1960s Gray was involved with the School of London artists led by Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and Frank Auerbach. He moved to Paris in the 1960s, and began this portrait soon after he met Jill Neville there 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.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
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)

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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.

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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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