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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.

Right Rev Dr Lawrence Bonaventure Sheil OSF

c. 1872
Bardwell's Royal Studio

albumen silver carte de visite (support: 10.1 cm x 6.2 cm)

Lawrence Bonaventure Sheil OSF (1815–1872), Catholic bishop, was educated in Ireland and Rome, where he taught for some time after his ordination in 1839. Recruited for the Australian mission, he arrived in Melbourne in early 1853. After serving on the Catholic education board of Victoria, he went to Ballarat as archdeacon in 1859. Seven years later, he was consecrated Bishop of Adelaide. In South Australia he nominally presided over a period of great expansion in Catholic facilities and personnel; there were scores of Catholic schools in his diocese. However, for much of his time as bishop he was in Rome and Ireland, recruiting and attending to other business; and he was also in poor health. As a result, there was considerable confusion and disunity amongst South Australian Catholics during his bishopric. In 1871 he hastily excommunicated Mary MacKillop, founder of the teaching congregation of the Sisters of St Joseph. Five months later, as he lay dying from a carbuncle, he instructed a colleague to lift his censure. MacKillop was restored to the church without delay, and later completely exonerated.

Photographer William Bardwell worked in Ballarat from 1858 until 1895. Initially in partnership with Saul Solomon, he specialised in portraits and views, examples of which were exhibited in the Geelong Industrial Exhibition in 1862 and the 1863 Ballarat Mechanics’ Institute Exhibition. In 1866, Bardwell established the Royal Photographic Studio independently of Solomon, one newspaper announcing that the new studio was ‘in every way replete with suitable accommodation … and rooms are provided for both ladies and gentlemen.’ Bardwell took advantage of his studio’s close proximity to the Theatre Royal, producing photographs for visiting theatre groups and opera companies and for those on the variety and sideshow circuits. Boasting the ‘best appointed Studio in the colonies’, Bardwell also provided portraits for prominent citizens and from 1868, having presented a set of views of Ballarat to Prince Alfred, advertised himself as photographer ‘By Special Appointment to HRH the Duke of Edinburgh.’ Bardwell went into partnership with John Beauchamp for some part of 1878 before relocating to Melbourne later that year. Bardwell’s Royal Studios at Ballarat remained active, however, throughout the 1880s under the management of a Mr Williams.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2010

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

Bardwell's Royal Studio (age 36 in 1872)

Lawrence Bonaventure Sheil OSF (age 57 in 1872)

Subject professions

Religion

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.

Lady Barkly
Lady Barkly
Lady Barkly
Lady Barkly

Carte-o-mania!

Previous exhibition, 2018

Drawn from the NPG’s burgeoning collection of cartes de visite, Carte-o-mania! celebrates the wit, style and substance of the pocket-sized portraits that were taken and collected like crazy in post-goldrush Australia.

The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance

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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.

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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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