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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.

William and Martha Mary Robertson and their children [William St Leonards, Eliza, John, William St Leonards on a horse, Beatrice and Ida], 1860s - 1870s

Various

eight carte de visite, hand-coloured contained in red leather concertina presentation case (overall (irregular): 12.5 cm x 62.0 cm)

More images of this artwork

William Robertson junior studied at Oxford University and is said to have been the first Australian to row in an Oxford eight, his team victorious in the Boat Race of 1861. He graduated in 1862 and returned to Australia after being admitted to the bar and marrying in England in 1863. He practised in Hobart before heading to Victoria where, in addition to his work as a barrister in Melbourne, he assisted his three brothers in the management of the family properties. William served as a member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly between 1871 and 1874 and again from 1881 to 1886; he also served on the Colac Shire council.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by Malcolm Robertson in memory of William Thomas Robertson 2018

Accession number: 2018.34.1-8

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Various

William Robertson Jnr (age 21 in 1860)

Martha M. Robertson (age 16 in 1860)

William St.Leonards Robertson

Donated by

Malcolm Robertson (16 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.

Miss Robertson of Colac (Dolly), 1885-86
Miss Robertson of Colac (Dolly), 1885-86
Miss Robertson of Colac (Dolly), 1885-86
Miss Robertson of Colac (Dolly), 1885-86

Brothers on farms

Magazine article by Malcolm Robertson, 2011

Malcolm Robertson tells the family history of one of Australia's earliest patrons of the arts, his Scottish born great great great grandfather, William Robertson.

Lady Barkly, 1863 Batchelder & O'Neill
Lady Barkly, 1863 Batchelder & O'Neill
Lady Barkly, 1863 Batchelder & O'Neill
Lady Barkly, 1863 Batchelder & O'Neill

Carte-o-mania!

Previous exhibition, 2018

Drawn from the NPG’s burgeoning collection of cartes de visite, Carte-o-mania! celebrates the wit, style and substance of the pocket-sized portraits that were taken and collected like crazy in post-goldrush Australia.

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 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.