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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.

Hell's mouth, 2019 Cam Neville

Facing the inferno

About Face article

Tara James speaks to Cam Neville about his portrait series, Firefighters.

The great South Sea caterpillar transformed into a Bath Butterfly (Sir Joseph Banks)

The Bath Butterfly

About Face article

The caricaturist and engraver James Gillray's biting satires about Sir Joseph Banks. 

James Mccabe Executed Jany. 6th 1826

The consolations of religion

A bushranger meets his maker, 6 January 1826
About Face article

James McCabe provides proof that hanging wasn’t necessarily a fate reserved for the perpetrators of murder and other deeds of darkest hue. 

Cover, first minute book of the Tasmanian Society of Natural History

Embrace your inner nerd

About Face article

The southern winter has arrived. For people in the northern hemisphere (the majority of humanity) the idea of snow and ice, freezing mist and fog in June, potentially continuing through to August and beyond, encapsulates the topsy-turvidom of our southern continent.

Thomas Woolner

Missing Persons

Thomas Woolner in Australia
About Face article

Desperately seeking Woolner medallions

Portrait of Captain James Cook RN

Robert Oatley AO

1928–2016
About Face article

The National Portrait Gallery mourns the loss of one our most generous benefactors, Robert Oatley AO.

Louise, daughter of the Hon. L. L. Smith by Tom Roberts, 1888

An Australian in Paris

About Face article

This week it is impossible not to contemplate the ways in which France has touched many Australian lives.

Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles, 1824 by James Thomson

Audacity, audacity, audacity

About Face article

Angus delves into the biographies of two ambitious characters; Sir Stamford Raffles and Sir John Pope-Hennessy.

Sydney Cove medallion, 1789 by Josiah Wedgwood

The medallion

About Face article

In recent years I have become fascinated by the so-called Sydney Cove Medallion (1789), a work of art that bridges the 10,000-mile gap between the newly established penal settlement at Port Jackson and the beating heart of Enlightenment England.

William Bligh

William Bligh

About Face article

The life of William Bligh offers up a handful of the most remarkable episodes in the history of Britain’s eighteenth and early nineteenth-century maritime empire.

Andrew George Scott, alias Captain Moonlite, c.1879 attributed to Charles Nettleton

Diseased curiosity

Captain Moonlite et al on trial for murder
About Face article

Just after 10.00 o'clock on 3 December 1879, four prisoners were brought from their cells at Darlinghurst Gaol and placed in the dock of a courtroom heaving with agitated spectators

Ellen Stirling

Very fine and very like

About Face article

When did notions of very fine and very like become separate qualities of a portrait? And what happens to 'very like' in the age of photographic portraiture?

Queen Victoria (1819-1901), Signed and dated 1843 by Franz Xaver Winterhalter

Queen Victoria

About Face article

Last Sunday I had the privilege of appearing at the Canberra Writers’ Festival in conversation with Julia Baird. The subject of our session was Julia’s recent biography, Victoria the Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman who Ruled an Empire.

General Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane

Seeing stars

Celebrating Science Week
About Face article

It has been suggested that Sir Thomas Brisbane’s interest in the New South Wales governorship was as attributable to his passion for astronomy as to the desirability of the position as a prestigious career move.

Indexing, the art of

About Face article

The first index I created was for my first book, and, to my astonishment, that was almost twenty-five years ago.

Monument to Mrs. Moore St. Luke’s Church, Liverpool, Sydney

Waterloo and Mrs. Moore

About Face article

Beyond the centenary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli, a number of other notable anniversaries converge this year. Waterloo deserves a little focussed consideration, for in the decades following 1815 numerous Waterloo and Peninsular War veterans came to Australia.

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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