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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.

Duke of Cornwall and York (later King George V), 1903

H. Walter Barnett

platinum photograph (mount: 31.5 cm x 27.0 cm, image/sheet: 27.0 cm x 23.2 cm)

George Frederick Ernest Albert, The Duke of Cornwall and York and later King George V (1865–1936) was the second eldest son of King Edward VII, who ascended the throne on Queen Victoria’s death in January 1901. With the first Parliament of Australia set to open in early May, the mourning King sent George, now next in line to the throne, to Australia as his representative. The Duke and his Duchess, Mary (1867–1953) left England on 15 March aboard an Orient steamship specially chartered for the voyage. Two days after arriving in Melbourne, on 9 May, the royal couple drove through streets lined with cheering crowds to the Exhibition Building, where the Duke declared the Parliament open before thousands of guests. Later the same month it was confirmed in a letter to new Prime Minister Edmund Barton that ‘Mr Tom Roberts’ had undertaken to create a painting of the event. ‘This gentleman is desirous of getting sittings of the Duke and Duchess before they leave Australia’, the letter continued. In 1903, when Roberts was in London working on the project, he requested portraits of the Duke and Duchess from his friend, photographer Walter Barnett. Roberts then referred to these photographs in the completion of what is known as his ‘Big Picture’, which contains over 200 individual portraits.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Peter Roberts 2015

Accession number: 2015.41

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

H. Walter Barnett (age 41 in 1903)

King George V (age 38 in 1903)

Subject professions

Government and leadership

Donated by

Peter Roberts (6 portraits)

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.

Sarah Bernhardt, 1910 by Walter Barnett
Sarah Bernhardt, 1910 by Walter Barnett
Sarah Bernhardt, 1910 by Walter Barnett
Sarah Bernhardt, 1910 by Walter Barnett

Legends

The Art of Walter Barnett 1862-1934

Previous exhibition, 2001

A National Portrait Gallery travelling exhibition.

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The National Portrait Gallery
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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.