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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.

A blackguard rehearsing - Max Cullen

2001
David Naseby

oil on canvas (frame: 192.4 cm x 146.5 cm, support: 183.0 cm x 137.4 cm)
Image not available (NC)

Max Cullen (b. 1940), artist and actor, trained in art in Sydney in the 1950s, worked as a commercial artist and illustrator for some years, and has continued to exhibit in solo and group shows. He began to study acting at Sydney's Ensemble Theatre in 1963, and has performed regularly on stage since, in productions including Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, A Cheery Soul, Hamlet, A Street Car Named Desire and As You Like It. He won the 1990 Sydney Theatre Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor in The Tempest, and in recent years he gained critical acclaim for his turns in Death of a Salesman and Small Poppies. In 2010 he devised and performed Faces in the Street: A salute to Henry Lawson. Cullen has appeared in a host of popular Australian television series since the 1970s, ranging from Skippy to Love My Way. In 1994 he won both an AFI award and a Film Critics Circle Award for his performance in the film Spider and Rose; his recent films include Jindabyne (2006). He has written, directed and produced several short films and short stories and reported on the arts on television. He lives in a restored cinema in Gunning, operating a gallery and bookshop there.

The title of this portrait refers to the play A Couple of Blackguards, in which Cullen co-starred with Max Gillies at Sydney's Ensemble Theatre in 2000.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Nigel Naseby 2007
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

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

David Naseby (age 64 in 2001)

Max Cullen (age 61 in 2001)

Donated by

Nigel Naseby (1 portrait)

Related information

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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.

Bob Ellis
Bob Ellis
Bob Ellis
Bob Ellis

Tribute

Bob Ellis

Magazine article, 2016

Bob Ellis (1942–2016) was a journalist, columnist, screenwriter, film director, playwright, speechwriter and critic.

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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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