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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.

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Equestrian self portrait

2004
William Robinson AO

colour lithograph on paper, edition 65/100 (sheet: 54.5 cm x 77.0 cm, image: 40.0 x 55.0)
Image not available

William Robinson AO is one of Australia’s most influential contemporary

painters, known for his distinctive and prolific output as a landscape

painter. Born in Brisbane, he trained as a teacher and studied art at

the Central Technical College (now Queensland University of Technology)

in the 1950s. His painting practice continued alongside his teaching

work and during the 1970s he moved with his wife Shirley to a small farm

in Birkdale, outside Brisbane. He came to national prominence when he

unexpectedly won the Archibald Prize in 1987 with his Equestrian self portrait.

This lithograph is a reworking of the celebrated oil painting that

features a perplexed Robinson sitting awkwardly across a stocky,

bewildered horse. Tongue in cheek, the work can be seen as a comment on

the pretentiousness that can arise from art prizes, leaning into the

parody of self-important dignitaries who sought greatness by posing on a

saddle.

Purchased 2022
© William Robinson

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

William Robinson AO (age 68 in 2004)

Related portraits

1. William Robinson, 1994. All Greg Weight.
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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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency