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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.

Julian Ashton, 1931

Harold Cazneaux

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 25.3 cm x 15.6 cm, image: 15.1 cm x 11.9 cm)

Julian Rossi Ashton CBE (1851-1942), art teacher, artist and critic, trained in art in London and at the Académie Julian in Paris before coming to Australia to work on the Illustrated Australian News in 1878. After some years in Melbourne, in 1883 he moved to Sydney to work on the Picturesque Atlas of Australasia, which involved him in a good deal of travel. Having begun giving private art classes in 1886, in the early 1890s he taught for the Art Society of New South Wales, but in 1895 he established his own school in King Street. There, his students included George Lambert, Thea Proctor, Elioth Gruner and Sydney Long. In 1906 he opened the Sydney Art School in the Queen Victoria Markets; from 1935, relocated to George Street, it became the Julian Ashton School, students of which included William Dobell, Jean Bellette and Douglas Dundas. Through the 1990s Ashton was a Trustee of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, in which capacity he encouraged the purchase of works by Australian artists. In 1898 he organised the show of Australian art at the Grafton Gallery in London. At that time, he was president of the Society of Artists, which evolved through amalgamation into the Royal Art Society of New South Wales. In 1907 he moved to re-establish the Society of Artists, of which he was president until 1921 and vice-president until 1940. After that, he returned to the RAS. In this way, through a series of strategic moves, Ashton dominated art in Sydney for more than fifty years. His son, also named Julian, was also prominent on the Sydney art scene, serving for a time as president of the Royal Art Society.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2008

Accession number: 2008.61

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Harold Cazneaux (age 53 in 1931)

Julian Ashton (age 80 in 1931)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

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.

Practising the Minuet (Miss Hilda Spong), 1893 Tom Roberts
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Ethel Turner, 1928 Harold Cazneaux
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Ethel Turner, 1928 Harold Cazneaux
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Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2008

Harold Cazneaux's portraits of influential Sydneysiders included Margaret Preston and Ethel Turner, both important figures in the development of ideas about Australian identity and culture.

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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.