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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.

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William Walford

c. 1873
an unknown artist

pastel over photographic image on paper on canvas (frame: 77.0 cm x 67.0 cm, sheet: 65.0 cm x 55.0 cm)

William Walford (1821–1896), businessman, was born in Hobart, the son of a publican and the grandson of a Viennese engraver transported to New South Wales for larceny in 1791. In the early 1840s William moved to Sydney, where he married Elizabeth Symonds (1824–1912) in 1842. After their wedding, William became involved in a number of business ventures, investing in real estate and mining and later serving as a director of the Australian Gaslight Company and other firms. William and Elizabeth lived at 'Waratah' in Rushcutters Bay and had eleven children, of whom only five survived to adulthood.

The practice of painting over photographic portraits in pastel or watercolour became popular in the 1860s and 1870s. For sitters, the idea of having a portrait that combined the accuracy and convenience of photography with the aesthetics and prestige of painting was very appealing. And whereas the availability of photographs had a damaging impact on the output of some portrait artists, others saw photography as an opportunity. Painted portrait photographs – known as crayotypes, crayongraphs and various other terms – were offered by many photographic studios, and practitioners of the technique most certainly saw themselves as 'artists'.

Gift of the Estate of Leslie Walford AM 2013

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

William Walford (age 52 in 1873)

Subject professions

Business, trades and industry

Donated by

The Estate of Leslie Walford (3 portraits)

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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.

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