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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.

George Barrington, c.1785

Celebrity cutpurse

Magazine article by Grace Carroll, 2010

Grace Carroll discusses the portrait of the late-eighteenth century gentleman pickpocket George Barrington.

Self Portrait with fruit, 2004

Tender tragedies

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2006

George Foxhill's self portraits were the subject of a small focus display at the National Portrait Gallery in 2006.

Self portrait with gladioli

Courage, Self-analysis and Skill

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2002

The story behind George Lambert's Self-portrait with Gladioli.

Self portrait with gladioli

Facing Facts

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2003

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

Self portrait with gladioli

Money and swat

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2007

Andrew Sayers discusses the real cost of George Lambert's Self portrait with gladioli 1922.

Love City; George Gittoes on hilltop 2013

Man of war

Magazine article by Tedi Bills, 2016

Tedi Bills talks to George Gittoes about canvassing conflict.

Portrait of George Selth Coppin

The Multifarious Career of George Selth Coppin

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2004

George Selth Coppin (1819-1906) comedian, impresario and entrepreneur, was a driving force of the early Australian theatre.

Robyn Archer, 2010

Real close

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2012

Peter Ciemitis breached regulations when creating the portrait of the polymath environmental scientist George Seddon.

George Tjungurrayi

Two painters

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2007

Chris Chapman explains how Matthys Gerber bridges the gap between abstraction and portraiture.

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.

Major General Paul Cullen

All in the Family

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2002

Portrait launch of Major-General Paul Cullen AC CBE DSO and Bar ED (Rtd) and George Judah Cohen.

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.

Francis Russell Nixon

Sketches and sermons

Magazine article by Jessica Smith, 2009

Jessica Smith looks at the 'fetching' portrait of Tasmania's first Anglican Bishop, Francis Russell Nixon by George Richmond

Naomi Watts

In Sync

Magazine article by Peter Brew-Bevan, 2004

Peter Brew-Bevan discusses two experiences where his plans for his portraits produced surprising results.

Portrait 26

December 2007 - February 2008
Magazine

This issue of Portrait Magazine features Matthew Perceval, Tom Uren, George Tjungurrayi, silhouette portraiture, pop art portraits and more.

Portrait 21

September - November 2006
Magazine

This issue of Portrait Magazine features Margaret Cameron, the 'Truth and Likeness' exhibition, Reg Mombassa, Patrick White, George Foxhill and more.

Portrait 4

June - August 2002
Magazine

This issue of Portrait Magazine features articles on Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, George Lambert's self-portrait, Professor Peter Doherty, the man behind the Dr. Who theme, and more.

Portrait 13

September - November 2004
Magazine

This issue of Portrait Magazine features Nancy Wake, Jon Campbell's portrait of Paul Kelly, George Selth Coppin, Henri Cartier-Bresson and more.

Betty Cuthbert

Hop, skip, shoot

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2004

Former NPG Deputy Director, Simon Elliott talks with Ern McQuillan about his life and career as a sports photographer.

The Gladiators (Norm Provan and Arthur Summons)

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'.

Portrait 55

Summer 2016-2017
Magazine

Explore convict art, photography by Ruth Hollick and Collier Schorr, an interview with neurosurgeon Charlie Teo, portraiture on money, and more!

Lionel Rose, World Champion Bantam Weight Boxer before departing to the USA to defend his title

The champs

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2008

Two lively portrait photographs reflect the agility of their subjects: world champion Australian sportsmen Lionel Rose and Anthony Mundine.

Florence Austral

Pretty in peach

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2008
It's remarkable that the inner Melbourne suburb of Richmond has produced two of Australia's most successful opera singers. Three decades apart, but within a short distance of each other, both Helen Porter Mitchell and Florence Wilson were born.
Mr Mortimer Lewis

Little treasures

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2002

The acquisition of the ivory miniatures of Mortimer and Mrs Lewis.

Wainburranga (Paddy Fordham)

Big shots

Magazine article by Djon Mundine OAM, 2017

Djon Mundine OAM brings poignant memory and context to Martin van der Wal’s 1986 portrait photographs of storied Aboriginal artists.

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.

Tim Bonyhady

At easel

Magazine article by Tim Bonyhady, 2016

Tim Bonyhady recalls his experience as sitter for his close friend and former National Portrait Gallery Director, the late Andrew Sayers.

Neil Murray

True fella

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2011

Michael Desmond profiles the Australian songwriter and performer Neil Murray and his contribution to Australian music.

Sidney Myer

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.

Stevie Wright

Tribute

Stevie Wright
Magazine article, 2016

Stevie Wright (1947-2015), singer-songwriter, came to Australia from England at the age of nine.

Frances Alda

Bewitching

Magazine article by Roger Neill, 2006

Roger Neill delves into the life of a lesser-known Australian diva, Frances Alda.

Peace, the Man and Hope (Anthony Mundine), 2005 by Brook Andrew and Larry Rawling (printer)

In focus

Magazine article, 2017

Brook Andrew, Marcia Langton and Anthony Mundine.

Rev. Victor B. Walls and Mrs. Walls, Trinidad, B.W.I., c.1930

The first nurse

Magazine article by Tamsin Hong, 2016

Tamsin Hong recounts the tale of Marion Smith, the only known Australian Indigenous servicewoman of World War One.

Portrait of Dr Johann Reinhold Forster and his son George Forster

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.

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 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.

Portrait of Private Edward Lello 1915 by Darge Photographic Company

Final frame

Magazine article by Karl James, 2016

Karl James reflects on soldier portraiture during the Great War.

A Goldfields Member

Showing character

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2016

Joanna Gilmour on Tom Durkin playing with Melbourne's manhood.

The rose, 1927

The world of Thea Proctor

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2005

The world of Thea Proctor was the National Portrait Gallery's second exhibition to follow the life of a single person, following Rarely Everage: The lives of Barry Humphries.

Yhonnie and Indiana, 2012

Surface tension

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2013

Joanna Gilmour on the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2013.

James Oswald Fairfax

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.

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.

John Coburn

101 photographic portraits

Magazine article by Michelle Fracaro, 2004

Pat Corrigan's generous gift of 100 photographic portraits by Greg Weight.

Nancy Wake - The White Mouse

Capturing the Mouse

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2004

Nancy Wake AC (b. 1912), one of the most­ decorated women of World War 2, earned the name the 'White Mouse' for her maddening ability to evade the Gestapo.

Victor Trumper

Top shot that

Magazine article by Gideon Haigh, 2009

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

Self portrait

Portrait of a Modernist

Magazine article by Dimity Goldie, 2003

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

Jean-Paul Sartre, 1946

Insightful

Magazine article by Robert McFarlane, 2004

Henri-Cartier-Bresson invented the grammar for photographing life in the 20th century.

Betty Bryant, c. 1939

The life of Bryant

Magazine article by Tenille Hands, 2018

Tenille Hands explores a portrait prize gifted to the National Screen and Sound Archive.

Sydney Ure Smith

Dupain detective

Magazine article by Johanna McMahon, 2019

Johanna McMahon revels in history and mystery in pursuit of a suite of unknown portrait subjects.

Self portrait

Small worlds

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2010

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

Brown form with stripes, 1961

Figurative foundation

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2010

Joanna Gilmour explores the life and art of the Australian artist Janet Dawson.

Irina Baronova (handing on the baton)

Handing on the baton

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2009

Michael Desmond explores the life of ballerina Irina Baranova through the portrait by Australian artist Jenny Sages.

Guns and roses, 2006

Obey

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2009

Michael Desmond investigates the street art of Shepard Fairey, who was catapulted to fame during the 2008 presidential election with his resonant image of Barack Obama.

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.

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.

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.

Federal Statistican Knibbs

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.

Self portrait, 1786 by John Kay

Alternative virtue

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2015

Joanna Gilmour presents John Kay’s portraits of a more infamous side of Edinburgh.

Mrs NR Mackintosh (Anne) by Ruth Hollick

Natural, artistic and unselfconscious

Magazine article by Angus Trumble, 2016

Angus Trumble gazes at the once bright star of photographer Ruth Hollick.

Nicole Kidman

Australians in Hollywood

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2003

The exhibition Australians in Hollywood celebrated the achievements of Australians in the highly competitive American film industry.

Portrait of Thea Proctor, 1905 by George Lambert

The real Thea

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2015

Long after the portraitist became indifferent to her, and died, a beguiling portrait hung over its subject.

Portrait of Tam Purves

Bonfire of the vanities

Magazine article by Stuart Purves, 2016

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

Drawing Australia

Drawing power

Magazine article by Eileen Adams, 2006

The National Portrait Gallery joins the Big Draw, a program dedicated to promoting drawing as a tool for thought, creativity, social and cultural engagement.

George and Jemima Billet with family

Costantini's convictions

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2017

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

Marian Anderson, contralto, New York, June 30, 1955 Richard Avedon

The right note

Magazine article by Leslie Ureña, 2020

Marian Anderson’s glorious voice thrust her into stardom, and a more reluctant role as American civil rights pioneer.

Dame Mabel Brookes

The hands have it

Magazine article by Angus Trumble, 2016

Angus Trumble treats the gallery’s collection with a dab hand.

Captain W Kinghorne

The bright-eyed Mariner

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2008
A new colonial portrait brings a zealous captain near.
Hardtmuth 'Hottie' Lahm

Hottie's Snifter to port

Magazine article by Peter Jeffrey, 2016

Peter Jeffrey trips the hound nostalgic.

Nicole Kidman

9 lives of Karin Catt

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2006

Australian photographer Karin Catt has shot across the spectrum of celebrity, her subjects including rock stars, world leaders and actors.

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.

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.

Opening of the First Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia by H.R.H. The Duke of Cornwall and York, May 9, 1901, 1903 by Tom Roberts

Empire records

Magazine article by Kylie Scroope, 2011

Celebrates the centenary of the first national art collection, the Historic Memorials Collection, housed at Australia's Parliament House.

The last of England 1855

Pre-Raphaelite Profile

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2006

In 2006 the National Portrait Gallery acquired a splendid portrait of Victoria's first governor, Lieutenant Governor Charles Joseph La Trobe by Thomas Woolner.

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 bust of Dr Christine Rivett

In the round

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2009

Andrew Sayers outlines the highlights of the National Portrait Gallery's display of portrait sculpture.

Mary (or Diana) Croker, mat woman, Colchester, 1823 by John Dempsey

Unknown drawer

Magazine article by Dr David Hansen, 2017

Dempsey’s People curator David Hansen chronicles a research tale replete with serendipity, adventure and Tasmanian tigers.

Camouflage self portrait, 1986

Hide/Seek

Magazine article by David Ward, 2010

David Ward writes about the exhibition Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture on display at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington.

Cadel Evans

Winning in technicolor

Magazine article by Alistair McGhie, 2009

Alistair McGhie writes about the portraits of three of Australia's top professional cyclists: Cadel Evans, Stuart O'Grady and Robbie McEwen painted by Matthys Gerber.

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.

Self portrait, 1645

The considered life

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2010

Andrew Sayers asks whether a portrait can truly be the examination of a life.

Study for self-portrait, 1963

Inside outside

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2010

Michael Desmond explores the portraiture of Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud.

Self portrait

Modern Australian Women

Magazine article by Gillian Raymond, 2005

Close contemporaries, Thea Proctor, Margaret Preston and Grace Cossington Smith were frequently sources of inspiration and irritation to each other. 

Dr Peter Farrell

Giving and getting

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2006

The exhibition Portraits for Posterity celebrates gifts to the Gallery, of purchases made with donated funds, and testifies to the generosity and community spirit of Australians.

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.

Dr Brown and Green Old Time Waltz

Where the wild things are

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2009

Michael Desmond explores the complex portrait of Dr Bob Brown by Harold 'The Kangaroo' Thornton.

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.

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.

Ursus sitting, 1931

Two pair

Magazine article by Dr Jacqui Strecker, 2008
Stuttgart's Art Museum is showing Otto Dix portraits alongside artists from Lucas Cranach to Andy Warhol.
Dave Graney

Naked nostalgia

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2016

Penelope Grist reminisces about the halcyon days of a print icon, before the infusion of the internet’s shades of grey.

Self portrait

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.

Miss Robertson of Colac (Dolly), 1885-86

Brothers on farms

Magazine article by Malcolm Robertson, 2011

Malcolm Robertson tells the family history of one of Australia's earliest patrons of the arts, his Scottish born great great great grandfather, William Robertson.

The Jester (self portrait)

Bloodlines

Magazine article by Michelle Fracaro, 2004

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

Untitled #88 (Captain Brad Kilpatrick and Kylie Minogue, Balibo, East Timor, 20 December 1999)

For the boys

Magazine article by Alistair McGhie, 2011

The photographs from Matthew Sleeth's tour of duty series look more like advertisements than images of war.

Hélène Kirsova in Petrouchka

Vintage Max

Magazine article by Gael Newton, 2003

Gael Newton delves into the life and art of renowned Australian photographer, Max Dupain.

Ned Kelly death mask

Getting a head

Magazine article by Alexandra Roginski, 2015

Alexandra Roginski gets a feel for phrenology’s fundamentals.

A woman of New South Wales, c. 1840

More cash than dash

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2011

Joanna Gilmour describes how colonial portraitists found the perfect market among social status seeking Sydneysiders.

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.

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.

Leigh Bowery in Fur Coat

Hyperversity

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2006

Dr Sarah Engledow writes about the larger-than-life Australian performance artist, Leigh Bowery.

Sam and the Perfect World, 2005

The news from Washington

Magazine article by Lauretta Morton, 2006

Australia's former Cultural Attache to the USA, Ron Ramsey, describes the mood at the opening week of the revitalised American National Portrait Gallery.

Theodore Twombly by Alice Carroll

A.I.

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2015

Christopher Chapman ponders our digital identity and selfhood.

The hunting lodge, 2007

Seduce Amuse Entertain

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2007

Michael Desmond profiles a handful of the entrants in first National Photographic Portrait Prize and notes emerging themes and categories.

The Sands Brothers (group photograph)

Seeing stars

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2013

Joanna Gilmour explores photographic depictions of Aboriginal sportsmen including Lionel Rose, Dave Sands, Jerry Jerome and Douglas Nicholls.

Billy Hughes paperweight

Mugshots

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2006

A toast to the acquisition of an unconventional new portrait of former Prime Minister, Stanley Melbourne Bruce.

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.

Charles Haddon Chambers

Suave

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2010

Charles Haddon Chambers the Australian-born playboy playwright settled permanently in London in 1880 but never lost his Australian stance when satirising the English.

Quong Tart, 1880s

Finest quality

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2010

Joanna Gilmour explores the life of Chinese-Australian businessman and philanthropist Quong Tart.

Lucy, 2001

Technical terminology

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2010

Michael Desmond introduces some of the ideas behind the exhibition Present Tense: An imagined grammar of portraiture in the digital age.

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.

Me

Donated duo

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2009

Dr Sarah Engledow writes about the gift of two striking paintings by the Australian artist Ken Done AM.

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.

Henry Lawson

Regarding Henrys

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2015

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

Cachasunghia, Osage Warrior 1804–06 by Charles Balthazar Julien Févret de Saint-Mémin

Political profiles

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2016

Joanna Gilmour examines the prolific output of Charles Balthazar Julien Févret de Saint-Mémin, and discovers the risk of taking a portrait at face value.

Ellen Stirling

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.

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.

Thomas Sutcliffe Mort and his wife Theresa

Tiny Trace of a Colonial Giant

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2004

At just 7.8 x 6.2 cm, the daguerreotype of Thomas Sutcliffe Mort and his wife Theresa is one of the smallest works in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery.

Chet Baker, singer, New York City, January 16, 1986 by Richard Avedon

The existential lens

Magazine article by Stephen Zagala, 2013

Stephen Zagala discusses Richard Avedon’s work from an Australian perspective.

Christian Waller with Baldur, Undine and Siren at Fairy Hills, 1932 by Napier Waller

Enigma

Magazine article by Grace Carroll, 2015

Grace Carroll contemplates the curious case of Christian Waller.

Portrait of William Manning, c.1821 by Henry Bone

Of beef in burgundy

Magazine article by Angus Trumble, 2017

Angus Trumble reveals the complex technical mastery behind a striking recent acquisition, Henry Bone’s enamel portrait of William Manning.

Barry Humphries

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.

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.

Sir William Charles Windeyer

Private virtues public lives

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2010

Family affections are preserved in a fine selection of intimate portraits.

Helen Blaxland judging flower arrangements, c. 1940s photographer unknown

Petal to the mettle

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2019

Sarah Engledow lauds the very civil service of Dame Helen Blaxland.

Tony Bilson

Eating the seasons

Magazine article by Dr Anne Sanders, 2019

Anne Sanders imbibes Tony Bilson’s gastronomic revolution.

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.

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.

Charles Summers

The importance of being bearded

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2012

Joanna Gilmour discovers that the beards of the ill-fated explorers Burke and Wills were as epic as their expedition to traverse Australia from south to north.

Mutiny on the Bounty (The Mutineers turning Lieutenant Bligh and part of the officers and crew adrift from His Majesty's Ship the Bounty)

High & Bligh

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2008

Joanna Gilmour explores the 1790 portrait of William Bligh by Robert Dodd.

Murray frees himself from straightjacket in public, 1928 by Sam Hood

Risky business

Magazine article by John Zubrzycki, 2016

John Zubrzycki lauds the characters of the Australian escapology trade.

Professor Peter Doherty

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.

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.

Eileen Dunne in The Hospital for Sick Children, 1940

The incomparable Beaton

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2005

To accompany the exhibition Cecil Beaton: Portraits, held at the NPG in 2005, this article is drawn from Hugo Vickers's authorised biography, Cecil Beaton (1985).

Louis XVI giving final instructions to the Comte de La Perouse, c. 1785

Sea legged frogs

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2011

Joanna Gilmour describes some of the stories of the individuals and incidents that define French exploration of Australia and the Pacific.

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.

Jacki Weaver

Flash mob

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2019

Sarah Engledow trains her exacting lens on the nine photographs from 20/20.

Waterfall in Australia, c. 1830 by Augustus Earle

Augustus serendipitous

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2016

The London-born son of an American painter, Augustus Earle ended up in Australia by accident in January 1825. 

Patrick White at Centennial Park, 1979–1980

Listomania

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2013

Sarah Engledow describes the fall-out once Brett Whiteley stuck Patrick White’s list of his loves and hates onto his great portrait of the writer.

Untitled #21/09 (after Ricci, 1700; featuring Matthew Mitcham)

Getting bare

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2015

How seven portraits within Bare reveal in a public portrait parts of the body and elements of life usually located in the private sphere.

Madame du Barry, 1791 by Richard Cosway

Little women

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2019

Joanna Gilmour looks beyond the ivory face of select portrait miniatures to reveal their sitters’ true grit.

Practising the Minuet (Miss Hilda Spong)

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.

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.

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.

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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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