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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.

Alice Want, 1853

William Nicholas

pencil and watercolour on paper (frame: 37.5 cm x 28.4 cm, sight: 20.6 cm x 14.0 cm)

Alice Simpson, née Want (b. 1837) was one of nine children of Randolph and Harriette Want, who married in Sydney in 1839. Randolph Want (1811-1869), a solicitor, arrived in Australia in the late 1820s and served in the first Legislative Assembly of New South Wales. Alice married grazier Robert Percy Simpson in Sydney in 1857. Their eldest son, Edward Percy Simpson, was born in 1858 and followed two of his uncles into the legal profession, establishing the tradition followed by three generations of men in the Simpson family.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the Simpson family in memory of Caroline Simpson OAM 2008
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Accession number: 2008.80

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

William Nicholas

Alice Simpson (age 16 in 1853)

Subject professions

Migration and colonisation

Donated by

Emily Simpson (6 portraits)

Louise Dobson (6 portraits)

Alice Simpson (6 portraits)

Edward Simpson (6 portraits)

Related portraits

1. Theresa and James Laidley Mort, 1844. All William Nicholas.

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

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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.

A Sydney family, 1840s
A Sydney family, 1840s
A Sydney family, 1840s
A Sydney family, 1840s

The house, the horse, the wife and the offspring

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2009

Joanna Gilmour writes about the portraiture of the colonial artist William Nicholas.

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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.