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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.

Portrait of Captain James Cook RN

The hand of Captain Cook

Google Arts and Culture
Learning resources

Take a close look at a portrait with a hidden message in its hands. For Year 7 – 9 students.

Portrait of Captain James Cook RN

Mo and beard timeline

General content

Changes in facial fashions from the 1780s to the present day.

The Brougham

The Brougham

Beards

A philosopher-style of beard – thick and lengthy; a greyer, hence wiser version of the Burke; and suited to older men who saw themselves as sagacious or statesmanlike.

Caroline Zilinsky and John Feitelson

Caroline Zilinsky and John Feitelson

Vox pops

John is a very unique character so I really wanted to capture that uniqueness.

The Parkes

The Parkes

Beards

It wasn’t uncommon for the pro-beard fraternity of the mid nineteenth century to cite beards as a sign of wisdom on the grounds that Socrates and other ancient philosophers had worn them.

The Demon

The Demon

Moustaches

Being hirsute was the go in the 1850s, 60s and 70s; but around about the 1880s the beard began to wane.

The Burke

The Burke

Beards

A big daddy of a beard; long; bushy; rugged, but not unkempt; typically found on the faces of explorers or bushrangers.

The Lyster

The Lyster

Beards

A strong, silent type of beard; bushy and manly, but also shaped and contained, a restrained version of a Burke or a Parkes.

Portrait of Tam Purves

John Brack's Portraiture

Google Arts and Culture
Learning resources

Learn about artist John Brack, who said that portraits involve three people: the painter, the sitter and the viewer. For Year 6 – 8 students.

The Lawson

The Lawson

Moustaches

It’s curious that one of the writers most associated with the toughness of Australian bush life was himself not an exponent of the matted, rugged bushman sort of beard.

Jacki Weaver

Jacki Weaver, 2018

by John Tsiavis
General content

Commissioned with funds provided by Marilyn Darling AC 2018

Tan Le

Tan Le, 2018

by John Tsiavis
General content

Commissioned with funds provided by the Sid and Fiona Myer Family Foundation 2018

Thomas Woolner

The 1850s to the 1880s

Mo and beard timeline

The restrained and cultivated facial hair fashions evident through the first decades of the 1800s were on the wane by the middle of the century, when hirsute faces became mainstream.

Jane Franklin

Jane’s conviction

Devotion

Stand by your man

The Cohen

The Cohen

Beards

Somewhat like the Lambert but more avuncular, more businesslike, less dandified or effete – the sort of style you’d expect to see on a bank manager in the 1920s.

The Hubert

The Hubert

Beards

A facial hair style suggesting something of the boys’-own type of chap who seems to have had much currency in the early years of the twentieth century.

© National Portrait Gallery 2022
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

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