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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.

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Dr. Arthur Martin a'Beckett

1845
Charles Abraham

cast plaster (including base: 71.0 cm x 48.0 cm depth 27.0 cm)

Arthur Martin a’Beckett (1812–1871), doctor and parliamentarian, studied medicine in his native London and in Paris before earning distinction with his service as surgeon to the British Legion in Spain in the mid-1830s. He became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1838. Later that year, following his marriage, he left for New South Wales, encouraged by the professional advantages his barrister brother William (later Sir William a’Beckett, first Chief Justice of Victoria) was enjoying since emigrating to the colony in 1837. Arthur’s ‘indefatigable exertions, zeal and high professional knowledge’ saw him achieve an elevated rank within the Sydney medical fraternity. In addition to his private medical practice, a’Beckett worked as consultant surgeon to the Benevolent Asylum and as an examiner for the medical faculty at the University of Sydney. He was appointed a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1855, and in 1856 became one of the first appointees to the NSW Legislative Council. A’Beckett was also active in the promotion of education and the arts in NSW, serving as commissioner for its contribution to the 1855 Paris Exhibition, President of the Sydney Mechanics School of Arts, and a trustee of the Australian Museum, the Public Library and Sydney Grammar School. He died in Sydney in 1871 following ‘a short and severe illness’, survived by his wife, Emma, and six of their ten children.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2014

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

Charles Abraham (age 29 in 1845)

Dr. Arthur Martin a'Beckett (age 33 in 1845)

Related portraits

1. Dr. Arthur Martin a'Beckett, c. 1840. All an unknown artist.

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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.

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