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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.

Jane Franklin

c. 1866-1875
an unknown artist after Thomas Bock

carved marble relief (49.0 cm x 39.0 cm depth 8.5 cm)

Jane Franklin (née Griffin, 1791–1875) came to Van Diemen’s Land in 1837 following the appointment of her husband, Sir John Franklin, to the position of lieutenant-governor of the colony. Jane was somewhat unique among colonial vice-regal spouses for being forthright, childless and well-travelled; for her intellectual interests; and for her ‘unwomanly’ outspokenness on matters such as prison reform and convict discipline. Both she and Franklin viewed Van Diemen’s Land not merely as a prison but a new society in which education, science and the arts should be fostered. Foremost among the artists she supported was the ex-convict Thomas Bock. In 1837 she commissioned copies of his earlier watercolour portraits of the Aboriginal leaders associated with George Augustus Robinson; and in 1842 Bock created a portrait of Mathinna, an Aboriginal girl removed from her family in 1839 and taken to Government House in Hobart so that Lady Franklin might experiment with ‘civilising’ her. In 1838, at a friend’s request, Lady Franklin sat to Bock for her own portrait; this sculpture is said to be based on the drawing which resulted from the sitting.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2018

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

Thomas Bock

Jane Franklin (age 74 in 1866)

Subject professions

Government and leadership

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.

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Fine and dandy

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2010

Whether the result of misadventure or misdemeanour, many accomplished artists were transported to Australia where they ultimately left a positive mark on the history of art in this country.

Mary Ann Lawrence, 1841
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Mary Ann Lawrence, 1841
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Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2009

Henry Mundy's portraits flesh out notions of propriety and good taste in a convict colony.

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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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