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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.

Hugo at home (Hugo Weaving), 2011

Nicholas Harding

oil on canvas (frame: 142.5 cm x 203.0 cm, support: 138.0 cm x 199.0 cm)

Hugo Weaving (b. 1960) spent his childhood in England, Australia and South Africa before returning to Australia in 1976. Graduating from NIDA five years later, he made his television debut in the 1984 series Bodyline. After appearing in Bangkok Hilton (1989) he won the AFI best actor award for Proof. Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Babe helped him to establish an international reputation in the mid-1990s. Between 1999 and 2003 he starred as Agent Smith in The Matrix and its two blockbuster sequels. He played the elf-king Elrond in the Lord of the Rings trilogy in 2001-2003 before appearing in the radically different films Little Fish (filmed in Sydney) and V for Vendetta (filmed in the UK and Europe) in 2005. Weaving first appeared with the Sydney Theatre Company in 1982, and has since worked on more than twenty of its productions. In 2006 he and Cate Blanchett acted in the company’s Hedda Gabler in New York. He won a Helen Hayes award for Uncle Vanya in Washington DC in 2012; in Sydney that year he played the seducer in Les Liaisons Dangereuses. He starred in the Sydney Theatre Company’s Waiting for Godot in 2013, Macbeth in 2014 and Endgame in 2015; his recent film and television productions include Hacksaw Ridge (2016), Jasper Jones and Seven Types of Ambiguity (2017).

Weaving and Harding have known each other for many years. Harding has emphasised his famous friend’s love of domesticity in this portrait, which includes his tea in a hand-made cup and glimpses of a painting by his wife, a sculpture by his son and his daughter’s ukulele.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by the Liangis family 2012
© Nicholas Harding

Accession number: 2012.22

Currently on display: Gallery Seven (Ian Potter Gallery)

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Artist and subject

Nicholas Harding (age 55 in 2011)

Hugo Weaving (age 51 in 2011)

Subject professions

Performing arts

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.

David Marr, 2011 by Nicholas Harding
David Marr, 2011 by Nicholas Harding
David Marr, 2011 by Nicholas Harding
David Marr, 2011 by Nicholas Harding

Through thick and thin

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2017

Sarah Engledow likes the manifold mediums of Nicholas Harding’s portraiture.

Rehearsing Godot (Mullins as Lucky) 4.11.2013 by Nicholas Harding
Rehearsing Godot (Mullins as Lucky) 4.11.2013 by Nicholas Harding
Rehearsing Godot (Mullins as Lucky) 4.11.2013 by Nicholas Harding
Rehearsing Godot (Mullins as Lucky) 4.11.2013 by Nicholas Harding

Waiting for Godot

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2015

'Artist and actors, advancing spasmodically, find their rhythm together' writes Sarah Engledow.

Robert Drew by Nicholas Harding video: 3 minutes
Robert Drew by Nicholas Harding video: 3 minutes
Robert Drew by Nicholas Harding video: 3 minutes
Robert Drew by Nicholas Harding video: 3 minutes

Robert Drewe

An interview with Nicholas Harding

Portrait story

Artist Nicholas Harding talks about what was captured in his portrait of Robert Drewe.

We would like to thank our partners.
© National Portrait Gallery 2020
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ABN: 54 74 277 1196

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.