Skip to main content

Coming to visit? Ticketed entry is in place to safely manage your visit so please book ahead. Need to cancel or rejig? Email bookings@npg.gov.au

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.

David Collins Esq

1804
Anthony Cardon (engraver) after John T. Barber

stipple engraving on paper (sheet: 26.8 cm x 20.5 cm)

David Collins (1756–1810) was the first judge of the British colony at New South Wales. Like Phillip, he had served in the war against American Independence. Although mostly occupied in NSW with administering English law to the convicts and officers, Collins also spent time observing the Indigenous locals—especially Bennelong and Colebee. He recorded Bennelong’s relaxed disposition as he boarded the vessel that would take Bennelong and Phillip to Britain in 1792. By the time Bennelong returned with the next governor, John Hunter, in 1795, the colony had, by Collins’s own admission, descended into “open war” with the Indigenous people. Collins was nonetheless surprised that Bennelong chose to leave it entirely after a further few years. “Instead of … shewing the least gratitude for the attentions which he received from every one,” Collins spluttered in disbelief, the Eora man “preferred the rude and dangerous society of his own countrymen.” Collins later served as the first Lieutenant Governor of Van Diemen’s Land. This engraving copies a painting by the London-based miniaturist and entrepreneur John Barber.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2015

Artist and subject

John T. Barber (age 30 in 1804)

Anthony Cardon (age 32 in 1804)

David Collins (age 48 in 1804)

Subject professions

Government and leadership

Related portraits

1. Sir Joseph Banks, 1810. All Sir Thomas Lawrence, William Evans, Anthony Cardon.

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.

Rethinking foundational histories

Magazine article by Kate Fullagar, 2019

A focus on Indigenous-European relationships underpins Facing New Worlds. By Kate Fullagar.

The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance

The Gallery

Visit us, learn with us, support us or work with us! Here’s a range of information about planning your visit, our history and more!

© 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 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