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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 Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

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

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

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.

Captain James Cook
Captain James Cook
Captain James Cook
Captain James Cook

Rethinking foundational histories

Magazine article by Kate Fullagar, 2019

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

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

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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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