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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.

Portrait of Henry Hopkins

c. 1845
Thomas Griffiths Wainewright

watercolour on paper (frame: 56.5 cm x 45.5 cm, sheet: 38.0 cm x 32.0 cm)

Henry Hopkins (1787–1870), businessman and philanthropist, opened his first shop on Elizabeth Street, Hobart, soon after arriving in the colony in September 1822. Having worked as a wool classer in England, Hopkins became involved in the development of the wool trade and is credited with the first export of wool from the colony. He quickly prospered and by the late 1830s had expanded his wool growing interests into Victoria. In addition to his various mercantile interests, Hopkins served as a magistrate; on the Legislative Council; and as a director of bodies such as the Van Diemen’s Land Bank and the Hobart Gas Company. He was also a generous donor to schools, missionary societies and the church, donating funds for the building of St David’s Cathedral, the All Saints’ Anglican Church and several other chapels in Hobart. On his death at 84 he was commended as ‘the special patron of all our religious, educational and charitable institutions . . . his liberality in this direction has made his name famous throughout Australasia and Great Britain’.

Thomas Griffiths Wainewright, an English artist of some refinement, squandered his inheritance and was sentenced to transportation for forgery and suspected poisoning. From 1837 he was in Hobart, enabled, on account of good behaviour, to pursue his art practice. Granted a ticket of leave in 1844, he died three years later, having created more than fifty of the finest Australian portraits of the period.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by L Gordon Darling AC CMG 2013

Artist and subject

Thomas Griffiths Wainewright (age 51 in 1845)

Henry Hopkins

Supported by

L Gordon Darling AC CMG (38 portraits supported)

Marilyn Darling AC (30 portraits supported)

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.

The Cutmear sisters, Jane and Lucy, c. 1842
The Cutmear sisters, Jane and Lucy, c. 1842
The Cutmear sisters, Jane and Lucy, c. 1842
The Cutmear sisters, Jane and Lucy, c. 1842

A man of superior attainments

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2013

Joanna Gilmour explores the life of a colonial portrait artist, writer and rogue Thomas Griffiths Wainewright.

Poison pen

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2010

Michael Desmond examines the career of the eighteenth-century suspected poisoner and portrait artist Thomas Griffiths Wainewright.

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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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency