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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.

Robert Hannaford, 2005

R. Ian Lloyd

inkjet print on paper (sheet: 51.7 cm x 60.7 cm, image: 35.3 cm x 53.0 cm)

Robert Hannaford (b. 1944), a largely self-taught artist, grew up on his family farm before working as political cartoonist for the Adelaide Advertiser from 1964 to 1967. In 1969 he won the inaugural AME Bale Scholarship. He took up painting full-time in 1970 with the encouragement of the veteran South Australian portraitist, Sir Ivor Hele. He has been a favourite in both the Archibald Prize – in which he has been a finalist 23 times, and won the People’s Choice Award three times – and the Doug Moran Portrait Prize, which he won in 1990. Much in demand as an official portraitist, he painted the Historic Memorials Committee’s official prime-ministerial portrait of Paul Keating and the official Centenary of Federation painting that now hangs in Parliament House alongside Tom Roberts’s ‘Big Picture’. The National Portrait Gallery owns his portraits of Dame Joan Sutherland, Robert Dessaix, Alexander Ramsay and Lowitja O’Donoghue, the latter painted on commission. From July to October 2015 the Art Gallery of South Australia showed more than 200 of his works in the solo exhibition Robert Hannaford.

Hannaford works in a studio in the small South Australian town of Riverton, his easel placed beneath a skylight that enables him to exploit the full range of daylight. He has painted hundreds of portraits. Enjoying the discipline imposed by a commission, he is open to ideas from his sitters about how they would like to be portrayed, finding that they often lead him into new ways of seeing and composing. 'I can find anything interesting,' he says. 'I could look at the corner of the room and find a painting that could keep me going for ages.'

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of R. Ian Lloyd 2010
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
© R. Ian Lloyd/Copyright Agency, 2020

Accession number: 2010.82

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

R. Ian Lloyd (age 52 in 2005)

Robert Hannaford (age 61 in 2005)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Donated by

R. Ian Lloyd (5 portraits)

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.

Lowitja O'Donoghue, 2006 Robert Hannaford
Lowitja O'Donoghue, 2006 Robert Hannaford
Lowitja O'Donoghue, 2006 Robert Hannaford
Lowitja O'Donoghue, 2006 Robert Hannaford

Anatomist's eye

Magazine article by Diana Warnes, 2016

Robert Hannaford has completed around 400 portraits over the span of his career. 

Lowitja O'Donoghue by Robert Hannaford video: 4 minutes and 5 seconds
Lowitja O'Donoghue by Robert Hannaford video: 4 minutes and 5 seconds
Lowitja O'Donoghue by Robert Hannaford video: 4 minutes and 5 seconds
Lowitja O'Donoghue by Robert Hannaford video: 4 minutes and 5 seconds

Lowitja O'Donoghue and Robert Hannaford

'I'm going to wear everything red, black, and yellow'

Portrait story

Lowitja O'Donoghue discusses her life and portrait by Robert Hannaford.

Tim Flannery by Robert Hannaford video: 3 minutes and 21 seconds
Tim Flannery by Robert Hannaford video: 3 minutes and 21 seconds
Tim Flannery by Robert Hannaford video: 3 minutes and 21 seconds
Tim Flannery by Robert Hannaford video: 3 minutes and 21 seconds

Tim Flannery by Robert Hannaford

'The space around'

Portrait story

Tim Flannery and artist Robert Hannaford discuss the creation of Tim's portrait.

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© National Portrait Gallery 2020
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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.