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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.

Robert Dessaix, 2004

Julian Kingma

type C photograph on paper (sheet: 79.0 cm x 60.0 cm, image: 70.0 cm x 55.7 cm)

Robert Dessaix (b. 1944) is a Hobart–based writer, translator and literary critic. Born in Sydney, he developed an interest in the Russian language as a boy, and went on to study and teach Russian at the Australian National University, with stints on exchange in Moscow. In 1984 he joined the ABC; he produced Radio National’s Books and Writing program for ten years. Before he published his first work of fiction Dessaix translated volumes of Chekhov, Dostoevsky, and Russian and Estonian poetry into English, edited Australian Gay and Lesbian Writing: An Anthology (1993) and wrote the autobiographical A Mother’s Disgrace (1994). Since then, his novels Night Letters (1996) and Corfu (2001) have been widely translated, and he has become a star attraction at literary festivals and events throughout Australia. Subsequent books include Twilight of Love: Travels with Turgenev (2005) and Arabesques: A Tale of Double Lives (2008), the latter a series of ‘encounters’ between Dessaix and the French Protestant writer André Gide.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2006
© Julian Kingma

Accession number: 2006.50

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Julian Kingma (age 36 in 2004)

Robert Dessaix (age 60 in 2004)

Subject professions

Media and communications

Donated by

Julian Kingma (6 portraits)

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Following the success of Glossy: Faces, Magazines, Now in 1999 the National Portrait Gallery again highlights the huge array of contemporary portraiture in the pages of magazines.

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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.