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Henry Lawson

Joe Greenberg

watercolour, crayon, coloured pencil, gouache and fibre-tipped pen on paper (sheet: 39.1 cm x 25.2 cm, image: 37.0 cm x 22.4 cm)

Henry Lawson (1867-1922), one of Australia's defining authors, is best known for his short stories and ballads depicting the hardship of bush life. Lawson spent his childhood on a poor selection in the Mudgee district in New South Wales. He received little formal education, but he was encouraged to read widely by his mother, the women's rights activist and writer, Louisa Lawson. A regular contributor to the Bulletin in the 1890s, he supported its nationalist, egalitarian and pro-union stance. In that decade, too, he wrote scores of stories and vignettes, the best of them - such as 'The Drover's Wife' and 'The Bush Undertaker'- haunting, profoundly sad and wryly funny all at once. Despite catastrophic bouts of depression and alcoholism, Lawson continued to write until his death in Sydney at the age of 55, when he was honoured with a State funeral.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2001

Accession number: 2003.174

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Joe Greenberg

Henry Lawson

Subject professions

Writing

Donated by

Joe Greenberg (37 portraits)

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