Skip to main content

The National Portrait Gallery is temporarily closed to the public until further notice.

Menu

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.

Self portrait

2006
Judy Cassab AO CBE

oil on board (frame: 60.0 cm x 53.0 cm, support: 42.5 cm x 37.0 cm)

Judy Cassab AO CBE (1920–2015) was one of Australia's best-loved, most prolific portrait painters. Born in Vienna, Cassab studied art in Prague and at the Budapest Academy before adopting false papers and 'going underground' to escape the persecution of Hungarian Jews. After the war, she and her husband reunited and emigrated to Sydney in 1951. Within months of arriving, she was commissioned by Sir Charles Lloyd Jones to paint a portrait of his wife, becoming an Archibald finalist for the first time the following year. By the mid-1960s she was sought-after as a portraitist. She won the Archibald Prize twice, for her portrait of her friend, Stanislaus Rapotec, in 1960, and with her painting of artist Margo Lewers in 1967. Through her many other portraits she created a distinct record of Australian society from the 1950s onwards. Cassab also found inspiration for a more abstract style of painting in the landscape of the Northern Territory, to which she repeatedly returned, and won several awards for her landscape works in the Wynne Prize.

Cassab painted this self-portrait at the age of 86 in 2006. It captures her spirit of resilience and determination, having survived the Holocaust and built a successful career as a portrait artist in Australia.

Gift of Dr Phillip Dutton and Valerie Dutton 2013. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.
© Judy Cassab/Copyright Agency, 2021

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

Judy Cassab AO CBE (age 86 in 2006)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Donated by

Dr Philip Dutton (1 portrait)

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.

Self-portrait, 1962 by Judy Cassab
Self-portrait, 1962 by Judy Cassab
Self-portrait, 1962 by Judy Cassab
Self-portrait, 1962 by Judy Cassab

Flesh, figure and rock

Magazine article by Aimee Board, 2018

Aimee Board traces Judy Cassab’s path to the Australian outback, arriving at the junction of inspiration and abstraction.

Sir Frank Packer KBE
Sir Frank Packer KBE
Sir Frank Packer KBE
Sir Frank Packer KBE

Vintage Cassab

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2006

The oil portrait of Sir Frank Packer KBE by Judy Cassab was gifted to the National Portrait Gallery in 2006.

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
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 past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency