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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.

Jacques Arago

c. 1830s
Nicolas Maurin and Alexandre Sixdeniers (engraver)

engraving on paper (sheet: 28.7 cm x 19.9 cm, image: 16.7 cm x 12.9 cm)

Jacques Etienne Victor Arago (1790–1855), author, artist and explorer, travelled with Louis-Claude de Saulces de Freycinet on his 1817 voyage on the Uranie. Dispatched to determine the shape of the earth once and for all, the corvette carried 120 men and 23 officers, as well as De Freycinet’s young wife Rose, accommodated in secret on the poop deck. Uranie visited Australia, East Timor, many Pacific islands and South America before being wrecked in the Falklands in February 1820; Freycinet noted that of everyone on board, Arago was the boldest, toughest and most intelligent. In New South Wales, members of Freycinet’s expedition met the Aboriginal men associated with explorers John Oxley, Charles Throsby, Alexander Berry and others, resulting in Arago’s portraits of sitters such as the Dharawal senior men Timbery and Broughton. Earlier in the voyage Arago had recorded the tense encounter between the expedition’s crew and the Malgana people at Cape Peron in Western Australia. Arago also made more drawings of Indigenous Hawaiians than any other European visitor, and the voyage resulted in his best-known book, Voyage autour du monde, published soon after he returned to Paris. Though he lost his sight in 1837, he continued to travel and write for the theatre.

Purchased with funds provided by L Gordon Darling AC CMG 2009

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

Nicolas Maurin (age 31 in 1830)

Alexandre Sixdeniers (age 35 in 1830)

Jacques Etienne Victor Arago (age 40 in 1830)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

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.

Louis XVI giving final instructions to the Comte de La Perouse, c. 1785
Louis XVI giving final instructions to the Comte de La Perouse, c. 1785
Louis XVI giving final instructions to the Comte de La Perouse, c. 1785
Louis XVI giving final instructions to the Comte de La Perouse, c. 1785

Sea legged frogs

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2011

Joanna Gilmour describes some of the stories of the individuals and incidents that define French exploration of Australia and the Pacific.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
Elizabeth
Elizabeth

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 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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