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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.

"Australia" Sir Edmund Barton (Image plate from Vanity Fair)

1902
Sir Leslie Ward

chromolithograph on paper (sheet: 38.0 cm x 26.3 cm)

Sir Edmund Barton GCMG KC PC (1849-1920), Australia’s first prime minister, was the youngest of nine children of a well-educated woman. Captain of Sydney Grammar two years running and an outstanding student of classics at the University of Sydney, he worked as a solicitor and barrister for ten years before being elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly in 1879. Over the next twenty years he represented four different seats, becoming speaker and attorney general in turn. Through the mid-1890s Barton was the prime mover for the federation of the Australian colonies into one Commonwealth, passionately explaining and promoting the process to the people and later, in 1900, to the British parliament. He became prime minister in 1901. During his single term in office, the Immigration Restriction Act passed, the first Australian soldiers went to the Boer War, Edward VII succeeded Queen Victoria and the High Court was established. On the way home from representing Australia at the Colonial Conference of British Empire prime ministers in 1902, he met the Pope and conversed with him in Latin - to the horror of Australian protestants. He gained honorary doctorates from Cambridge and Oxford and honorary memberships of twelve London clubs. Barton resigned from politics in 1903, to spend the rest of his life as a judge on the High Court.

Sir Leslie Ward, who signed his work ‘Spy’, was the most famous of the caricaturists who worked for the English magazine Vanity Fair, published weekly between 1868 and 1914.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Mr Ronald Walker 2001

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

Sir Leslie Ward (age 51 in 1902)

The Rt. Hon Sir Edmund Barton GCMG KC PC (age 53 in 1902)

Donated by

Ronald Walker (23 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.

Vanity fair

Magazine article by Ashleigh Wadman, 2012

Ashleigh Wadman rediscovers the Australian characters represented with a kindly touch by the British portrait artist Leslie Ward for the society magazine Vanity Fair.

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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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