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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.

Victor Trumper

1905
George Beldam and Sun Electric Engraving Company (engraver)

photogravure on paper (sheet: 44.4 cm x 52.1 cm, plate-mark: 37.9 cm x 43.1 cm, image: 30.1 cm x 37.7 cm)

Victor Trumper (1877–1915) is one of Australia’s all-time greatest batsmen. Known for his graceful yet attacking style of play, Trumper played his first cricket in the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills and at eighteen was selected for New South Wales. He made his Test debut at Nottingham in 1899, and during that first of four seasons in England established a reputation as a top batsman. On his second visit in 1902, Wisden described him as ‘the best batsman in the world’. Trumper made 2570 runs in 35 matches for the Australian team, with eleven innings of over a hundred and the extraordinary average, given the terrible weather conditions, of 48. His career peaked in the 1910–1911 series against South Africa in Australia, when he scored 662 runs, averaging 94. He ended his first-class career with 255 matches, 16939 runs, 42 centuries and 87 half-centuries with an average of 44.58. The fair-haired and lithe- figured Trumper was equally admired off the field for his modesty, ‘easiness of approach and suavity of manner’. Many thousands lined Sydney’s streets to farewell him after his death from a kidney disease at age thirty-seven.

George Beldam (1868–1937) played 142 matches for Middlesex, the MCC and London County, but is better known as a pioneer of action photography. Beldam dispensed with the staged, staid formula of earlier sports photographs and experimented instead with shutter speeds of up to one thousandth of a second to ‘obtain accurately the stages in various strokes’. Beldam and Charles Burgess Fry published two cricket manuals, Great bowlers and fielders, their methods at a glance (1907); and Great batsmen: their methods at a glance (1905), which featured this photograph of Trumper ‘jumping out for a straight drive’.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by L Gordon Darling AC CMG 2009

Artist and subject

George Beldam (age 37 in 1905)

Sun Electric Engraving Company

Victor Trumper (age 28 in 1905)

Subject professions

Sports and recreation

Supported by

L Gordon Darling AC CMG (38 portraits supported)

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.

Top shot that

Magazine article by Gideon Haigh, 2009

Gideon Haigh discusses portraits of Australian cricketers from the early 20th century

Darling Portrait Prize

Previous exhibition, 2020

The Darling Prize is a new annual prize for Australian portrait painters, painting Australian sitters. The winner receives a cash prize of $75,000.

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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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency