Skip to main content

"Australia" (Alfred Deakin) (Image plate from Vanity Fair)
, 1908

by Sir Leslie Ward

chromolithograph (sheet: 38.1 cm x 25.6 cm)

Alfred Deakin (1856–1919), Australia’s second, fifth and seventh prime minister, was a leading figure in the Federation movement. He studied law at the University of Melbourne and was elected to the Victorian Legislative Assembly in 1879. After 1890, Deakin became a key negotiator at the Federal Conventions, drafting much of what would become the Australian constitution. In 1900, he traveled with Edmund Barton to London to oversee the passage of the Federation Bill through the British parliament. Elected to the first Australian parliament in 1901 as the member for Ballarat, he succeeded Barton as prime minister when the latter retired to take up the position of High Court judge. Deakin left Parliament in 1913 and retired from public life, having rejected honorary doctorates from Oxford and Cambridge and membership of the Privy Council; he received no other honours.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Ronald A Walker 2009. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.
Accession number: 2009.106