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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.

Self Portrait in red shirt, 1937 by Arthur Boyd

Arthur as Alyosha?

Magazine article by Patrick McCaughey, 2015

Patrick McCaughey explores a striking Boyd self portrait.

Artist and wife near Arthurs Seat, 1969

Through blue eyes

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2009

Works by Arthur Boyd and Sidney Nolan bring the desert, the misty seashore and the hot Monaro plains to exhibition Open Air: Portraits in the landscape.

The sisters, 1904

Beguiling impressions

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2012

Sarah Engledow is seduced by the portraits and the connections between the artists and their subjects in the exhibition Impressions: Painting light and life.

Ellen Stirling, c. 1828 Thomas Phillips

Duty bound

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2009

Joanna Gilmour explores the life of colonial women Lady Ellen Stirling, Eliza Darling, Lady Eliza Arthur, Elizabeth Macquarie and Lady Jane Franklin.

Portrait 49 Winter 2015

Magazine

This issue features Jude Rae, Arthur Boyd, Darren McDonald, John Singer Sargent, Tom Wills the 'inventor' of Australian Rules Football and more.

James Oswald Fairfax, c. 1991 Bryan Westwood

The Fairfax Gift

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2003

This article examines the portraits gifted to the National Portrait Gallery by Fairfax Holdings in 2003.

Arthur Boyd's studio

Boyd to man

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2016

Christopher Chapman looks at influences and insight in the formative years of Arthur Boyd.

Portrait 53 Winter 2016

Magazine

Experience the art of rock music; attend to the neglected aspects of Lord Kitchener's work; and say farewell to the inimitable Bob Ellis.

The Gladiators (Norm Provan and Arthur Summons), 1963 (printed 1970s) John O'Gready

Who's that?

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2009

Michael Desmond discusses the iconic picture of two Rugby League players which became known as 'The Gladiators'.

Self portrait, 1948 Grace Cossington Smith

Portrait of a Modernist

Magazine article by Dimity Goldie, 2003

The National Portrait Gallery acquired the self-portrait by Grace Cossington Smith in 2003.

Portrait of Tam Purves, 1958 John Brack

Bonfire of the vanities

Magazine article by Stuart Purves, 2016

Australian Galleries Director Stuart Purves tells the story of two portraits by John Brack.

Sir Lindesay Clark, 1973 Clifton Pugh

The Stories Beneath

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2005
The Alcoa World Alumina Australia gift.
Portrait of Truganini, daughter of the Chief of Bruny Island, Van Diemens Land, c. 1835

Black and white history

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2009

English artist Benjamin Duterrau took up the cause of the Indigenous peoples of Tasmania with his detailed and sympathetic renderings.

Sir Sidney Kidman, 1932 Samuel Woolf

The fat of the land

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2009

Sir Sidney Kidman (1857-1935) is inscribed in Australian legend as the ‘Cattle King’. 

Jack Brabham, 2004 Julie Edgar

Start Your Engines...

Magazine article by Catherine McDonough, 2006

The bronze sculpture by Julie Edgar reflects through both the material and representation the determined and straight-forward nature of Brabham. 

Alexander Pearce
executed for murder
July 19th 1824

Public hanging

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2008

As a convict Thomas Bock was required to sketch executed murders for science; as a free man, fashionable society portraits.

Captain W Kinghorne, 1834 Thomas James Lempriere

The bright-eyed Mariner

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2008
A new colonial portrait brings a zealous captain near.
Mary Ann Lawrence, 1841

Fits of delicacy and despair

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2009

Henry Mundy's portraits flesh out notions of propriety and good taste in a convict colony.

Miss Evelyn Chapman, 1918

Lovers of light

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2008

Dr Sarah Engledow traces the significant links between Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo and Evelyn Chapman through their portraits.

Portrait of a Manchu Noblewoman, 18th-19th C.

Facing East

Magazine article, 2007

An exhibition at the Freer and Sackler Galleries in Washington DC showcases the art of portraiture in Asia over two thousand years.

Luke Scibberas, Hill End NSW, 2004

Artists' space

Magazine article by John McDonald, 2007

Studio: Australian Painters Photographed by R. Ian Lloyd presents 61 of some of Australia’s most respected and significant painters working in the studio environment.

Professor Peter Doherty, 2001 Rick Amor

Friends and Acquaintances

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2005

Dr. Sarah Engledow discusses a collection of drawings and prints by the Victorian artist Rick Amor acquired in 2005.

Mirka Mora, 2001 Greg Weight

It's a Mora!

Magazine article by Tedi Bills, 2016

Select extracts from Mirka Mora's autobiography, Wicked but Virtuous, provide rich accompaniment to recent Gallery acquisitions.  

Portrait of Kym Bonython/Portrait of Mr Bonython's speedway cap, 1963-66 John Brack

Somewhere to hang your cap

Magazine article by Beatrice Thompson, 2007

A pair of portraits by John Brack; Portrait of Kym Bonython and Portrait of Mr Bonython's speedway cap combine to create a quirky depiction of their subject.

The artist and her family, c. 1854 by Martha Berkeley

Presence and absence

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2018

The art of Australia’s colonial women painters affords us an invaluable, alternative perspective on the nascent nation-building project.

Bon Scott & Angus Young, Atlanta, Georgia, 1978 (printed 2010) Rennie Ellis

No shirt, no service

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2010

Bon Scott and Angus Young photographed by Rennie Ellis are part of a display celebrating summer and images of the shirtless male.

Self portrait, 1970

Painters' paradise

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2007

Andrew Sayers feels the warmth in the paintings Matthew Perceval made while the sun shone in southern France.

Ray Lawler, 2006 (printed 2010) Bill McAuley

Diamond Doll

Magazine article by Karen Vickery, 2016

Karen Vickery delights in a thespian thread of the Australian yarn.

Self portrait with gladioli, 1922 George Lambert

Facing Facts

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2003

Former NPG Director, Andrew Sayers describes the 1922 Self-portrait with Gladioli by George Lambert.

The Window Seat, 1907 by Frances Hodgkins

Kiwi magpie

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2018

Penelope Grist finds inspiration in pioneering New Zealand artist, Frances Hodgkins.

Sidney Myer, 1936 Paul Montford

Four from the 30s

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2003

Australia's tradition of sculpted portraits stretches back to the early decades of the nineteenth century and continues to sustain a group of dedicated sculptors.

Lottie Lyell as Doreen by Monte Luke

Their brilliant careers

Magazine article by Jenny Gall, 2017

Jenny Gall delves into Starstruck to celebrate some of Australian cinema’s iconic women.

Woman with Fair Hair and Pink Cardigan, 1949 by John Perceval.

The family scene

Magazine article, 2016

Traudi Allen discovers sensitivity, humour and fine draughtsmanship in the portraiture of John Perceval.

Blue Mountain, Owner, Trainer, Jockey, James Scobie, 1887 Frederick Woodhouse

Sure thing

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2009

Blue Mountain, Owner, Trainer, Jockey, James Scobie 1887 by Frederick Woodhouse Snr. is a portrait of James Scobie, well known jockey and eminent horse trainer.

James Ford, 1979 by Robert Mapplethorpe

Apollo's breath

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2016

Christopher Chapman delights in the intimacy of Robert Mapplethorpe's photography

Les Murray, 1995 David Naseby

Poets' Portraits

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2005

The Portrait Gallery's paintings of two poets, Les Murray and Peter Porter, demonstrate two very different artists' responses to the challenge of representing more than usually sensitive and imaginative men.

Self portrait, 1965 Jean Appleton

In good company

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2015

Jean Appleton’s 1965 self portrait makes a fine addition to the National Portrait Gallery’s collection writes Joanna Gilmour.

John Monash, 1919 James Quinn

Lauded legacy

Magazine article by Karl James, 2015

Karl James gives short shrift to doubts about the profile of General Sir John Monash.

Vanity Fair, April, 2004

International issue

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2009

Michael Desmond looks at the history of the Vanity Fair magazine in conjunction with the exhibition Vanity Fair Portraits: Photographs 1913-2008

Victor Trumper, 1905 George Beldam, Sun Electric Engraving Company

Top shot that

Magazine article by Gideon Haigh, 2009

Gideon Haigh discusses portraits of Australian cricketers from the early 20th century

Milton Glaser Art is Work

Portraits and other stories

Magazine article by Christine Clark, 2006

As the National Portrait Gallery opens its exhibition of portrait and figurative work by veteran photographer Sam Haskins, the artist reflects on the highlights of his fifty-year career so far.

Clifton Pugh painting in the studio, 1974 Fred Williams

Painting mates

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2011

Michael Desmond discusses Fred Williams' portraits of friends, artist Clifton Pugh, David Aspden and writer Stephen Murray-Smith, and the stylistic connections between his portraits and landscapes.

Patrick Ryan, 1968 by Mark Strizic

The silent partner

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2015

One half of the team that was Eltham Films left scarcely a trace in the written historical record, but survives in a vivid portrait.

Kate Hattam, 1956 Clifton Pugh

Melbourne experience

Magazine article by Diana Warnes, 2007

Diana Warnes explores the lives of Hal and Katherine 'Kate' Hattam through their portraits painted by Fred Williams and Clifton Pugh.

Vincent Brady leading anti Bicentenary Protest, Brisbane, 1987 Michael Aird

Activating the space

Magazine article by Sandra Phillips, 2020

Sandra Phillips on portraits of Indigenous activism from Cairns Art Gallery’s 2019 Queen’s Land Blak Portraiture exhibition.

 

Thomas Mathewson (inset) and his studio on Queen Street, c. 1908 by Thomas Mathewson & Co

Northern exposure

Magazine article by Phil Manning, 2017

Phil Manning celebrates a century of Brisbane photographic portraiture.

Self portrait, 1909 Bess Norriss Tait

Small worlds

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2010

Bess Norriss Tait created miniature watercolour portraits full of character and life.

Girl with Cigarette, c. 1925 by Agnes Goodsir

Agnes enigma

Magazine article by Karen Quinlan AM, 2019

Karen Quinlan considers the case of Agnes Goodsir, whose low profile in Australia belies her overseas acclaim.

Practising the Minuet (Miss Hilda Spong), 1893 Tom Roberts

An actress and her fans

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2008

Dr. Sarah Engledow discovers the amazing life of Ms. Hilda Spong, little remembered star of the stage, who was captured in a portrait by Tom Roberts.

Omai, Sir Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander, 1775-76

First encounters

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2011

Representations of the inhabitants of the new world expose the complexities of the colonisers' intentions.

Lady Barkly, 1863 Batchelder & O'Neill

A real Pratt

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2015

The death of a gentlewoman is shrouded in mystery, a well-liked governor finds love after sorrow, and two upright men become entangled in the historical record.

Rock Island Bend. Franklin River, South West Tasmania, 1979 by Peter Dombrovskis

Written in Water

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2005

Olegas Truchanas and Peter Dombrovskis, photographers and conservationists, shared a love of photography and exploring wilderness areas of Tasmania.

Kevin Rudd

An Australian story

Magazine article by Hon. Kevin Rudd, 2009

In his speech launching the new National Portrait Gallery building on 3 December 2008, then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd set the Gallery in a national and historical context.

Barry Humphries, 1958 Clifton Pugh

No Laughing Matter

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2002

The biographical exhibition of Barry Humphries was the first display of its kind at the National Portrait Gallery.

Captain James Cook, 1837 Nathaniel Dance, William Holl, Fisher, Son & Co London

Rethinking foundational histories

Magazine article by Kate Fullagar, 2019

A focus on Indigenous-European relationships underpins Facing New Worlds. By Kate Fullagar.

Dr Edward MacMahon, 1959 by William Dobell

Bill and Ted's excellent portrait.

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2016

Sarah Engledow on Messrs Dobell and MacMahon and the art of friendship.

The Conciliation, 1840 by Benjamin Duterrau

The art of conciliation

Magazine article by Gareth Knapman, 2017

Gareth Knapman explores the politics and opportunism behind the portraits of Tasmania’s Black War.

George and Jemima Billet with family, c. 1852 C.H.T. Costantini

Costantini's convictions

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2017

Jo Gilmour uncovers endearing authenticity in the art of a twice-transported Tasmanian.

Portrait of Dr Johann Reinhold Forster and his son George Forster, c. 1780 Jean Francois Rigaud

To the end of the earth

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2009

The portrait of Dr. Johann Reinhold Forster and his son George Forster from 1780, is one of the oldest in the NPG's collection.

Federal Statistican Knibbs, 1919 David Low

The numbers man

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2011

Dr. Sarah Engledow tells the story of Australia's first Federal statistician, Sir George Knibbs.

First-Class Marksman, 1946 by Sidney Nolan

Money for Myth

Magazine article by Jane Raffan, 2015

Australian character on the market by Jane Raffan.

Self Portrait, 1963–64

What price self?

Magazine article by Jane Raffan, 2013

Jane Raffan investigates auction sales of self portraits nationally and internationally.

Margot Rhys, 1935 by Athol Shmith

Progressive pictures

Magazine article by Aimee Board, 2017

Athol Shmith’s photographs contributed to the emergence of a new vision of Australian womanhood.

Portfolio of 54 portraits compiled by Queen Victoria, 1859–1861 by John Jabez Edwin Mayall, Camille Silvy, Frances Day and William Bambridge

Queen of cartes

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2019

Joanna Gilmour discusses the role of the carte de visite in portraiture’s democratisation, and its harnessing by Victoria, the world’s first media monarch.

Henry Lawson, c. 1919 Lionel Lindsay

Regarding Henrys

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2015

Sarah Engledow ponders the divergent legacies of Messrs Kendall and Lawson.

Mr John Eason, 1838 W. B. Gould

The shipwright's arms

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2013

Joanna Gilmour explores the life and times of convict-turned-artist William Buelow Gould.

Studio portrait of Lord Kitchener, British Secretary of State for War, 1914 by J Russell & Sons

All the way with K of K

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2016

Sarah Engledow bristles at the biographers’ neglect of Kitchener’s antipodean intervention.

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© National Portrait Gallery 2020
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 both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.