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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.

Bungaree, Chief of the Broken Bay Tribe, N S Wales, c. 1830

Charles Rodius

lithograph on paper (sheet: 29.5 cm x 22.7 cm)

More images of this artwork

Bungaree was born around 1775 in Broken Bay, New South Wales and arrived in Sydney in the 1790s. An experienced seafaring Guringai man who lived past middle age, Bungaree was the very first Australian to circumnavigate our country. He achieved this great triumph when he sailed aboard HMS Investigator alongside Matthew Flinders in 1802 and 1803. Bungaree had many wives, one of whom (Cora Gooseberry) is also showcased in this exhibition. Bungaree’s animated and characteristic features were captured in at least eighteen portraits and illustrations. Augustus Earle’s c. 1826 painting of Bungaree, for example, is among the earliest extant Australian oil portraits, and Earle’s lithograph of his painting is regarded as the first printed portrait to have been produced locally. Charles Rodius produced his first portrait of Bungaree in March 1830, only a few months after he had arrived in Sydney. The Sydney Gazette reported of the portrait that ‘we cannot forbear to say [that] it is executed in the most finished style of the art, and is, moreover, as accurate and striking a likeness as we ever saw’; while the Monitor reported that ‘Mr C Rhodius [sic] uses the lithographic Press with great skill. He has executed front and profile likenesses of Bungaree in a most superior style.’

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2018

Accession number: 2018.18

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Charles Rodius (age 28 in 1830)

Bungaree

Subject professions

Exploration and settlement

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

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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.

Self portrait, c. 1849 Charles Rodius
Self portrait, c. 1849 Charles Rodius
Self portrait, c. 1849 Charles Rodius
Self portrait, c. 1849 Charles Rodius

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.

Self portrait, c. 1849 Charles Rodius
Self portrait, c. 1849 Charles Rodius
Self portrait, c. 1849 Charles Rodius
Self portrait, c. 1849 Charles Rodius

Elegance in exile

Portrait drawings from colonial Australia

Previous exhibition, 2012

Elegance in exile is an exhibition surveying the work of Richard Read senior, Thomas Bock, Thomas Griffiths Wainewright and Charles Rodius: four artists who, though exiled to Australia as convicts, created many of the most significant and elegant portraits of the colonial period.

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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.