Skip to main content

Shakespeare to Winehouse open 9:00am–7:00pm on Thu, Fri, Sat from 7 July

Menu

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.

Edward John Eyre

Hearts of Darkness

Magazine article by Magda Keaney, 2006

The National Portrait Gallery's acquisition of the portrait of Edward John Eyre by pioneering English photographer Julia Margaret Cameron.

Sir Edward Holden

Promise Fulfilled

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2006

The life and achievements of Sir Edward Holden, who is represented in the portrait collection by a bust created by Leslie Bowles.

Part of the crew of His Majesty's Ship Guardian endeavouring to escape in the boats

South-bound and down

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2013

Joanna Gilmour recounts the story of ill-fated sea voyages in the early stages of the Antipodean colony.

Gloves off (Tom Uren)

Tribute

Tom Uren AC
Magazine article, 2015

Edward Tom Uren AC (1921-2015), former Deputy Leader of the Australian Labor Party, was a major campaigner on environmental and urban-planning issues and rights for veterans.

Edward Paine Butler

Poison pen

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2010

Michael Desmond examines the career of the eighteenth-century suspected poisoner and portrait artist Thomas Griffiths Wainewright.

Senator Nancy Buttfield

A Pioneering Life

Magazine article by Lauren Dalla, 2005

During her time in Australian politics, Dame Nancy Buttfield was an impressive advocate for equality for women and was responsible for ending the marriage bar for women in the Public Service.

Chance meeting, 1940-41 by Martin Lewis

Nocturnal animals

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2017

Joanna Gilmour explores the enticing urban shadows cast by artists Martin Lewis and Edward Hopper.

A Sydney family, 1840s

The house, the horse, the wife and the offspring

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2009

Joanna Gilmour writes about the portraiture of the colonial artist William Nicholas.

The Jester (self portrait)

Bloodlines

Magazine article by Michelle Fracaro, 2004

Michelle Fracaro describes Lionel Lindsay's woodcut The Jester (self-portrait).

Portrait of Ambrose Patterson

Velasquez Touch

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2004

Former NPG Director, Andrew Sayers, explores the creative collaborations between four Australian artists living in Paris during the first years of the twentieth century.

Jessie Street

Worth her salt

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2009

Jerrold Nathan's portrait of Jessie Street shows the elegant side of a many-faceted lady.

Margaret Anderson

The line of fire

Magazine article by Michelle Fracaro, 2005

Michelle Fracaro examines the life of World War II nurse Margaret Anderson, whose portrait by Napier Waller is in the NPG collection.

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.

Self portrait

Profile of a marriage

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2006

Dr Sarah Engledow explores the lives of Sir George Grey and his wife Eliza, the subjects of a pair of wax medallions in the National Portrait Gallery's collection.

L. Gordon Darling AC CMG

Portrait of a patron

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2007

A new painting by Jiawei Shen captures the vision and resolve of the Gallery's founder, L. Gordon Darling AC CMG.

Bon Scott & Angus Young, Atlanta, Georgia

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.

Portrait of Lady Eyre Williams (Jessie Gibbon)

Chance encounter

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2009

Joanna Gilmour explores the life and times of one of Melbourne's early socialites, Jessie Eyre Williams.

The Cutmear sisters, Jane and Lucy, c. 1842

A man of superior attainments

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2013

Joanna Gilmour explores the life of a colonial portrait artist, writer and rogue Thomas Griffiths Wainewright.

Blue Mountain, Owner, Trainer, Jockey, James Scobie

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.

Layne Beachley

Everybody's heard about the bird

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2008

Two professionals; Australian surfer Layne Beachley and photographer Petrina Hicks, combine their strengths to achieve a remarkable portrait.

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.

Portrait of an English Woman c. 1532-5 (detail)

A new perspective

Magazine article by Celina Fox, 2006

An exhibition devoted to Hans Holbein's English commissions shows the portraitist bringing across the Channel new technical developments in art - with a dazzling facility.

Sydney city (Patrick White and Tom Uren, Hiroshima Day demonstration), 1984

The activist A-list

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2007

Dr Sarah Engledow examines a number of figures in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery who were pioneers or substantial supporters of the seminal Australian environmental campaigns of the early 1970s and 1980s.

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

The Right Honourable Sir Ninian Stephen KGAK GCMG GCVO KBE QC, 2006 by Rick Amor

Prima facie

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2019

Sarah Engledow casts a judicious eye over portraits in the Victorian Bar’s Peter O’Callaghan QC Portrait Gallery.

Ned Kelly death mask

Getting a head

Magazine article by Alexandra Roginski, 2015

Alexandra Roginski gets a feel for phrenology’s fundamentals.

Mick Jagger, Madonna and Tony Curtis, 1997

The Vanity model

Magazine article by David Friend, 2009

Vanity Fair Editor David Friend describes how the rebirth of the magazine sated our desire for access into the lives of celebrities and set the standard for the new era of portrait photography.

Sir Sidney Kidman

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’. 

Lady Jane Grey, c.1590-1600 (also known as The ‘Streatham’ portrait) Artist unknown

The Royal she

Magazine article by Inga Walton, 2019

Traversing paint and pixels, Inga Walton examines portraits of select women in Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits.

General Birdwood, the Idol of Anzac, taking a dip in the sea after a hard days work 1915

In the thick of it

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2010

Projecting the splendour of the empire, and the resolve of its subjects, the bust of William Birdwood keeps a stiff upper lip in the National Portrait Gallery.

Helena Rubinstein in a red brocade Balenciaga gown

Study in scarlet

Magazine article by Angus Trumble, 2018

Angus Trumble reflects on the force of nature that was Helena Rubinstein.

The National Portrait Gallery

In the galleries

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2009

Christopher Chapman highlights the inaugural hang of the new National Portrait Gallery building which opened in December 2008.

Self portrait

Fine and dandy

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2010

Whether the result of misadventure or misdemeanour, many accomplished artists were transported to Australia where they ultimately left a positive mark on the history of art in this country.

Portrait sketch of Nellie Melba

Doodles of the Diva

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2010

Three tiny sketches of Dame Nellie Melba in the NPG collection were created by the artist who was to go on to paint the most imposing representation of the singer: Rupert Bunny.

Chevalier d’Eon, 1792

All dressed up

Magazine article by Jane Raffan, 2013

Jane Raffan asks do clothes make the portrait, and can the same work with a new title fetch a better price?

Studio portrait of servicewoman Lance Corporal Kathleen Jean Mary (Kath) Walker, c.1942

Past present

Magazine article by Krysia Kitch, 2016

Krysia Kitch celebrates Oodgeroo Noonuccal.

Yellow portrait (portrait of Alex Jelinek)

Fugue in Yellow

Magazine article by Roger Benjamin, 2015

Roger Benjamin explores the intriguing union of Lina Bryans and Alex Jelinek.

Chang the Chinese giant and party

The portrait writ large

Magazine article by Karen Vickery, 2015

Karen Vickery on Chang the Chinese giant in Australia.

Jessie Street

Australia’s great internationalists

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2016

Penelope Grist explores the United Nations stories in the Gallery’s collection.

Sidney Nolan, Western Australia

Cultural kaleidoscope

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2006

The complex connections between four creative Australians; Patrick White, Sidney Nolan, Robert Helpmann and Peter Sculthorpe.

Self portrait

The Dissecting Room

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2015

Joanna Gilmour accounts for Australia’s deliciously ghoulish nineteenth century criminal portraiture. 

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.

Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose, 1885-86 by 
John Singer Sargent

A feast of friends

Magazine article by Richard Ormond, 2015

John Singer Sargent: a painter at the vanguard of contemporary movements in music, literature and theatre.

Tom Wills, c. 1870 by William Handcock

Secure the shadow ere the substance fade

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2015

The tragic tale of Tom Wills, the ‘inventor’ of Australian Rules Football.

© 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