Skip to main content

We’re thrilled to welcome you back to the Gallery! Please see what we need you to do first.

Menu

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.

Bill Dyson and an unknown model, c. 1903

an unknown artist

gelatin silver photograph on paper (support: 19.4 x 24.0, sheet: 16.8 x 21.7, image: 16.1 cm x 17.9 cm)

Will (William Henry) Dyson, cartoonist, caricaturist, writer and draughtsman, was born in Alfredtown, near Ballarat, and studied for a short time in Melbourne, where he worked closely with his older brother Ambrose. Dyson's first cartoon appeared in the Sydney Bulletin in 1897, in which year he also exhibited in the first show of the Society of Artists. Thirteen years later he married Ruby Lindsay, sister of his friend Norman, and they all went to London together, but the two men soon quarrelled irrevocably. In the first years of World War I Dyson's cartoons became famous in London and he gained a large intellectual following. He was appointed an official war artist for the AIF in 1916, and his Australia at War (1918) remains one of the most powerful tributes to Australian involvement in the conflict. Dyson returned to Australia after Ruby Lindsay died in the worldwide influenza epidemic of 1919. He was feted in Melbourne, where he subsequently worked for the short-lived Punch and the Herald and exerted some influence on the local art scene. During this period he drew portrait caricatures of visiting celebrities including Anna Pavlova and the opera singer Fyodor Chaliapin. Dyson left Australia permanently in 1930, stopping in New York, where his drypoint etchings were well received, before settling in London.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2008

Accession number: 2008.97

Currently not on display

Copyright image request form
Request a digital copy of an image for publication

Artist and subject

Will Dyson (age 23 in 1903)

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.

The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

The Gallery

Explore portraiture and come face to face with Australian identity, history, culture, creativity and diversity.

Plan your visit

Timed ticketing, location, accessibility and amenities

Support your Portrait Gallery

We depend on your support to keep creating our programs, exhibitions, publications and building the amazing portrait collection!

We would like to thank our partners.
© National Portrait Gallery 2020
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia


Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

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.