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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.

Study "Radical Restraint: A Portrait of Michael Kirby", 1998

Ralph Heimans

pencil on paper (sheet: 29.5 cm x 41.9 cm, image: 26.4 cm x 33.3 cm)
Image not available (NC)

Justice Kirby works nearly every waking moment, even listing his recreation, in Who's Who, as 'work'. Ralph Heimans sketched him at his desk, and has said that Kirby's rather impatient glance in the portrait reflects the judge's expression as the artist asked him to look up for a moment.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2001

Accession number: 2003.160.2

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Ralph Heimans (age 28 in 1998)

Justice Michael Kirby AC, CMG (age 59 in 1998)

Subject professions

Law and justice

Donated by

Ralph Heimans (15 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.

Portrait of HRH Crown Princess Mary, 2006 by Ralph Heimans
Portrait of HRH Crown Princess Mary, 2006 by Ralph Heimans
Portrait of HRH Crown Princess Mary, 2006 by Ralph Heimans
Portrait of HRH Crown Princess Mary, 2006 by Ralph Heimans

Dane reign

Magazine article by Mette Skougaard and Thomas Lyngby, 2018

Mette Skougaard and Thomas Lyngby bring eloquent context to Ralph Heimans’ portraits of Crown Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark.

The Coronation Theatre, Westminster Abbey: A Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2012
The Coronation Theatre, Westminster Abbey: A Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2012
The Coronation Theatre, Westminster Abbey: A Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2012
The Coronation Theatre, Westminster Abbey: A Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2012

Imagination

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2013

Dr Sarah Engledow tells the story of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee portrait by Australian artist Ralph Heimans.

Interview with Michael Kirby and Ralph Heimans video: 5 minutes
Interview with Michael Kirby and Ralph Heimans video: 5 minutes
Interview with Michael Kirby and Ralph Heimans video: 5 minutes
Interview with Michael Kirby and Ralph Heimans video: 5 minutes

The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG

'Radical Restraint'

Portrait story

The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG interviews the artist who painted his portrait, Ralph Heimans.

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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.