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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.

Ned Kelly's armour (from The Australasian Sketcher, 3 July 1880)

Tom Carrington and The Australasian Sketcher (publisher)

wood-engraving (sheet: 41.0 cm x 28.4 cm)

Edward 'Ned' Kelly (1855-1880), bushranger, is Australia's pre-eminent folk hero. Kelly and his siblings were raised by their mother, neé Ellen Quinn, after the death of their father, an Irish former convict. The family was in constant conflict with the authorities, and Kelly, implicated in the criminal activities of the Quinn clan, was charged with several offences over the 1860s and 70s. A police crackdown led to the arrest of Mrs Kelly in April 1878. In October, Redmond Barry sentenced her to 3 years' hard labour. Soon after, Ned Kelly, his brother Dan and two companions shot three policemen who were searching for them at Stringybark Creek. They avoided capture until they arrived in the town of Glenrowan in June 1880, intending to ambush a police train. In the town's inn, Kelly, wearing a homemade suit of metal armour, was wounded in a siege in which the others were killed. He was hanged in Melbourne Gaol on 11 November 1880.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2017

Accession number: 2017.108

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Tom Carrington (age 38 in 1880)

The Australasian Sketcher

Ned Kelly (age 25 in 1880)

Subject professions

Law and justice

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.

Phrenology video: 3 minutes 25 seconds
Phrenology video: 3 minutes 25 seconds
Phrenology video: 3 minutes 25 seconds
Phrenology video: 3 minutes 25 seconds

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Alexandra Roginski explains the history behind the pseudo-science of phrenology.

Bee Miles, 1976 Roderick Shaw
Bee Miles, 1976 Roderick Shaw
Bee Miles, 1976 Roderick Shaw
Bee Miles, 1976 Roderick Shaw

Good, bad and the ugly

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2007

Michael Desmond explores what makes a portrait subject significant.

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The National Portrait Gallery
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.