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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.

Nicole Kidman, New York

2003
Irving Penn

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 35.4 cm x 28.0 cm, image: 26.5 cm x 26.5 cm, frame: depth 4.3 cm)

Nicole Kidman AC (b. 1967), actor, began her film career as a teenager in the Australian ventures Bush Christmas and BMX Bandits (1983), appearing at about the same time in advertisements for pantyhose and health insurance. After a strong performance in the TV mini-series Vietnam (1987) she starred in Dead Calm (1989). Her Hollywood debut came in Days of Thunder (1990), starring Tom Cruise. In 1995 she played Batman's glamorous girlfriend in Batman Forever, but also proved her acting talent in To Die For, for which she won her first Golden Globe for best actress. After Stanley Kubrick’s swansong Eyes Wide Shut, she won another Golden Globe for Moulin Rouge (2000). For her performance in The Hours (2002) she became the first Australian woman to win an acting Oscar and was also named best actress at the BAFTAs and the Berlin Film Festival. Kidman has established a reputation for fearless participation in very diverse ventures including Lars von Trier’s Dogville (2003), the comedy Bewitched (2005), Baz Luhrmann’s epic Australia (2008), the Australian feature The Railway Man (2013), the children’s film Paddington (2012), the drama Lion (2016), the thriller The Beguiled (2017) and the grim police saga Destroyer (2018). In 2017 she received the Emmy for best actress for the television series Big Little Lies. Renowned worldwide for her elegance, in recent years she has starred in advertisements for Chanel No 5, Omega, Jimmy Choo and Etihad Airways.

The legendary Irving Penn took many photographs of Kidman in the years following her divorce from Tom Cruise and her triumph in The Hours.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2009
© Irving Penn Foundation

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

Irving Penn (age 86 in 2003)

Nicole Kidman AC (age 36 in 2003)

Subject professions

Performing arts

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.

Nicole Kidman, New York
Nicole Kidman, New York
Nicole Kidman, New York
Nicole Kidman, New York

Penn on paper

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2009

Michael Desmond discusses Irving Penn's photographic portrait of Nicole Kidman.

Bryan Brown
Bryan Brown
Bryan Brown
Bryan Brown

The Look

Previous exhibition, 2019

Featuring striking photographic portraits of contemporary figures from the National Portrait Gallery collection, The Look is an aesthetic treat with a lashing of je ne sais quoi.

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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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