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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.

Sidney Nolan and Patrick White, Adelaide Arts Festival

c. 1964 (printed 2015)
Robert McFarlane

inkjet print on paper (sheet: 33.0 cm x 41.3 cm, image: 22.0 cm x 33.0 cm)

Sir Sidney Nolan AC OM CBE (1917–1992) was one of the most original and inventive Australian artists of the postwar decades, and one of few Australian artists to achieve an international reputation in the twentieth century. Born in Melbourne, Nolan studied at the National Gallery of Victoria's School of Art in 1934 and 1936. Beginning his career as a commercial artist in the 1930s, from 1938 he became associated with the modernist art patrons John and Sunday Reed at their homestead, Heide, in Heidelberg, Victoria. Nolan mounted his first solo exhibition in 1940, and two years later was conscripted into the army, serving as an army storeman in the Wimmera. Between 1946 and 1947 he made the enormously complex series of paintings of Ned Kelly for which he is best known. From 1951 Nolan lived abroad, but returned to Australia at regular intervals. He continued to explore Australian themes and landscapes in paintings of Burke and Wills, Eliza Fraser, Gallipoli and the Eureka rebellion, and in his huge masterpiece Riverbend (1965). Knighted in 1981, Nolan was awarded the Order of Merit in 1983. He was also made a Companion of the Order of Australia, elected an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a member of The Royal Academy of Arts. A major exhibition of Nolan's work, Sidney Nolan: A New Retrospective, held at the Art Gallery of NSW and the National Gallery of Victoria in 2007–2008, brought together more than 100 of his works.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 1999
© Robert McFarlane/Copyright Agency, 2021

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

Robert McFarlane (age 22 in 1964)

Sidney Nolan (age 47 in 1964)

Patrick White (age 52 in 1964)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

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.

Patrick White at Centennial Park, 1979–1980
Patrick White at Centennial Park, 1979–1980
Patrick White at Centennial Park, 1979–1980
Patrick White at Centennial Park, 1979–1980

Listomania

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2013

Sarah Engledow describes the fall-out once Brett Whiteley stuck Patrick White’s list of his loves and hates onto his great portrait of the writer.

Patrick White by William Yang

Portrait story

An interview with photographer William Yang who recalls his encounters with the author Patrick White.

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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Phone +61 2 6102 7000
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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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency