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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.

Sir James Martin, c.1880's

Henry Samuel Sadd (engraver)

mezzotint on paper (sheet: 40.6 cm x 32.7 cm, image: 28.2 cm x 22.0 cm)

More images of this artwork

Sir James Martin (1820-1886) was fourth Chief Justice of New South Wales. A brilliant student, he began working as a journalist with the Australian, promoting the interests of the native-born. He was admitted as a solicitor in 1845, the year he became manager and editor of Robert Lowe’s anti-Gipps paper the Atlas. At around this time, according to his biographer Bede Nairn, ‘his enemies diversified, repelled by his rare combination of lowly birth, pugnacity, colonial patriotism, ability and growing wealth’; a prominent Catholic chaplain held him up as a ‘living example of the effects of an education not based upon religion’. He won a seat on the Legislative Council in 1848, weathering objections that he lacked the necessary property qualifications. He became attorney-general in 1856 (again, a controversial appointment, as he had not at that stage been admitted to the Bar) and was made QC in 1857. Spending a fortune on renovating Clarens in Wylde Street, Potts Point, he was active in choral and educational matters and lobbied for the beautification of Hyde Park. In 1863 he became premier; it was to be the first of his three terms in the position (1863–1865, 1866–1868 and 1870–1872). Martin’s appointment as New South Wales’s fourth chief justice in 1873, according to Nairn, was ‘the greatest triumph of the native-born in the nineteenth century.’ After bearing fifteen children, his wife left him in 1882.

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

Accession number: 2009.62

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Henry Samuel Sadd (age 69 in 1880)

Sir James Martin (age 60 in 1880)

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.

Elizabeth, 2019 Anthea da Silva
Elizabeth, 2019 Anthea da Silva
Elizabeth, 2019 Anthea da Silva
Elizabeth, 2019 Anthea da Silva

Darling Portrait Prize

Current exhibition

from Friday 6 March

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

Andy Thomas, 2002 Montalbetti+Campbell
Andy Thomas, 2002 Montalbetti+Campbell
Andy Thomas, 2002 Montalbetti+Campbell
Andy Thomas, 2002 Montalbetti+Campbell

Uncommon Australians

The vision of Gordon and Marilyn Darling

Previous exhibition, 2015

This exhibition showcases portraits acquired through the generosity of the National Portrait Gallery’s Founding Patrons, L Gordon Darling AC CMG and Marilyn Darling AC.

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.

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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.