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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

1880
The Illustrated London News (publisher)

wood engraving on paper (sheet: 19.0 cm x 15.0 cm, image: 17.5 cm x 12.5 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 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

The Illustrated London News

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

Ned Kelly and death masks

'Judge a person by their cover'

Portrait story

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

Bee Miles
Bee Miles
Bee Miles
Bee Miles

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 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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