Skip to main content

David Malouf
, 2012

by Rick Amor

oil on canvas (frame: 66.4 cm x 87.3 cm, support: 60.0 cm x 81.0 cm)

David Malouf AO (b. 1934), author, was educated at Brisbane Grammar and the University of Queensland before leaving Australia at the age of 24. After a decade in England and Europe, he returned to Australia and taught at the University of Sydney. His first collection of poetry, Bicycle and Other Poems, appeared in 1970. His first novel, Johnno, was published in 1975. Since 1977, he has published five further books of poetry, three libretti and an autobiography, 12 Edmondstone Street (1985). His novel An Imaginary Life won the 1979 NSW Premier’s Literary Award; Fly Away Peter was named the Age Book of the Year in 1982; The Great World won the Miles Franklin Award in 1990; Remembering Babylon was shortlisted for the 1994 Booker Prize; and The Conversations at Curlow Creek was nominated for the Miles Franklin in 1997. In 1998 he gave the six ABC Boyer Lectures, on the theme of ‘the making of Australian consciousness’. A fellow of the Royal Society of Literature since 2008, Malouf’s non- fiction works include On Experience (2008), The happy life (2011) and Being there (2015).

Viewing works in the National Portrait Gallery, Malouf was struck by a painting by Rick Amor, who was later commissioned to paint Malouf’s portrait for the collection. In creating this work, Amor says he aimed first, to produce a good likeness; and secondly, ‘in a world full of enormous heads’, at a quiet picture of a diffident man of intellect.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Commissioned with assistance from the Circle of Friends 2012
Accession number: 2012.23