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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.

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.

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.

Portrait of Henry Vernon Crock AO, 1988 David Smith

Private practice

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2008
David Smith portrayed Dr Henry Crock without the accoutrements of an orthopaedic surgeon, adding to the National Portrait Gallery's collection of eminent Australian medical practitioners.
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.

Portrait 27 March - May 2008

Magazine

This issue of Portrait Magazine feature Lucian Frued, John Witzig, colonial death portraits, William Kinghorne, Henry Crock, and more.

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.

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.

Sappho, 1865

Mrs Cameron and the V&A

Magazine article by Magda Keaney, 2003

In March 2003 Magda Keaney travelled to London to join the photography section of the Victoria & Albert Museum for three months.

The Rajah quilt, 1841 by Kezia Hayter

Material culture

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2018

The Rajah Quilt’s narrative promptings are as intriguing as the textile is intricate.

Sir Henry Unton

Icons and imagery

Magazine article by Alison Weir, 2011

Alison Weir explores the National Portrait Gallery, London and the BP Portrait Award to find what makes a good painted portrait - past and present.

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.

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’. 

Swimming with Platypus, 2009

Someone to watch over you

Magazine article by Carrie Kibbler, 2013

Carrie Kibbler looks at how portraiture fits into the Australian Artbank Collection.

Joan Croll, 1976 John Brack

String of Pearls

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2001

Andrew Sayers discusses the portrait of Dr Joan Croll AO by the Australian artist John Brack.

The Jester (self portrait), 1923 Lionel Lindsay

Bloodlines

Magazine article by Michelle Fracaro, 2004

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

Betty Cuthbert, 1955 (printed 2003) Ern McQuillan

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.

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.

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.

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.

Self portrait, 1949 Louis Kahan

A guy from Paris

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2018

Sarah Engledow on a foundational gallery figure who was quick on the draw.

Sir Edward Holden, 1945 Leslie Bowles

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.

Benny (42nd Street Series), 1979–80 by Larry Clark

City boys

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2016

Christopher Chapman immerses himself in Larry Clark’s field of vision.

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.

Francis Bacon on Primrose Hill, 1963

Shadows of light

Magazine article by Mark Haworth-Booth, 2002

Mark Haworth-Booth explains why Bill Brandt is one of the most important British photographers of the Twentieth Century.

Dr Peter Farrell, 2001 Salvatore Zofrea OAM

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.

Mr and Mrs Horace Keats in the "Christopher Brennan Cycle", 1945 Dora Toovey

Heartfelt

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2009

The portrait of Janet and Horace Keats with the spirit of the poet Christopher Brennan is brought to life by artist Dora Toovey.

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.

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.

Sir Joseph Banks, c. 1788 Benjamin West, John Raphael Smith

In a good paddock

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2011

Celebrating a new painted portrait of Joseph Banks, Sarah Engledow spins a yarn of the naturalist, the first kangaroo in France and Don, a Spanish ram.

Madame Sibly, Phrenologist and Mesmerist, 1870s James E. Bray

Sibly irresistible

Magazine article by Alexandra Roginski, 2019

Alexandra Roginski reveals a forceful feminist figure in the colonial period’s slippery science, phrenology.

Martin Sharp, 1986 Garry Shead

Oz and beyond

Magazine article by Diana Warnes, 2007

Martin Sharp fulfils the Pop art idiom of merging art and life.

Themes and variations (Annelies) A13, 1946

Listening to form

Magazine article by Jane Kinsman, 2007

National Gallery of Australia curator Jane Kinsman discusses the portraiture of Henri Matisse.

Viscount Robert Lowe (Image plate from Vanity Fair Magazine), 1869 Carlo Pellegrini

Meeting by Murder

Magazine article by Yvonne Audette AM, 2005

The story behind two colonial portraits; a lithograph of captain and convict John Knatchbull and newspaper illustration of Robert Lowe, Viscount Sherbrooke.

Edward Paine Butler, c. 1845 Thomas Griffiths Wainewright

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.

Kinky Night. Impressions Club, 1987

Aussies all

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2006

The exhibition Aussies all features the ecclectic portrait photography of Rennie Ellis which captures Australian life during the 70s and 80s.

Geo Face Distributor, 2009 James Angus

Abstraction and figuration

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2009

James Angus discusses his major sculpture commission Geo Face Distributor with Christopher Chapman.

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, c. 1847 an unknown artist

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.

Sandor Ferenczis 50th birthday dinner, Budapest, 1923

Less than six degrees of separation

Magazine article by Dr Anne Sanders, 2011

Anne Sanders finds connections in Inner Worlds between Hungarian expatriates and the development of psychoanalysis in Australia.

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.

Sir William Charles Windeyer, 1892 Tom Roberts

Private virtues public lives

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2010

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

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.

William Charles Wentworth -The Australian Patriot, c. 1870 an unknown artist

The Wentworths – Hidden in Plain Sight

Magazine article by Grace Carroll, 2015

Grace Carroll on the gendered world of the Wentworths.

Howard Taylor, 1988 (printed 2001) John Austin

Reflections on portraiture

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2004

An extract from the 2004 Nuala O'Flaaherty Memorial Lecture at the Queen Victoria Musuem and Art Gallery in Launceston in which Andrew Sayers reflects on the unique qualities of a portrait gallery.

Albert Jonas and John Xiniwe of The African Choir, 1891 London Stereoscopic Co.

Back in black

Magazine article by Krysia Kitch, 2017

Krysia Kitch reviews black chronicles at the National Portrait Gallery, London.

Geoffrey Graham, 1941 Max Dupain

The mind's eye

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2017

Christopher Chapman takes a trip through the doors of perception, arriving at the junction of surrealism and psychoanalysis.

Revd Dr Robert Walker Skating on Duddingston Loch, c.1795 by Sir Henry Raeburn

Great Scots

Magazine article by Diana O'Neil, 2017

Diana O’Neil samples the tartan treats on offer in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

Charles Summers, (late 1860s) Batchelder & Co. Photo

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.

Self portrait, 1999/2005 Tracey Moffatt

Home truths

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2013

Despite once expressing a limited interest in the self portrait, the idea of it has figured strongly in much of Tracey Moffatt's work and has done so in some of her most distinctive and compelling images.

Sir Charles Lloyd Jones, 1951 William Dobell

Home and away

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2009

Sir William Dobell painted the portraits of Sir Charles Lloyd Jones and Sir Hudson Fysh, who did much to promote the image of Australia in this country and abroad.

Ned Kelly death mask, date unknown an unknown artist after Maximilian Kreitmayer

Getting a head

Magazine article by Alexandra Roginski, 2015

Alexandra Roginski gets a feel for phrenology’s fundamentals.

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. 

Janice Wakely, 1959 Helmut Newton

Generous Janice

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2013

Dr Sarah Engledow puts four gifts to the National Portrait Gallery’s Collection in context.

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.

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© National Portrait Gallery 2020
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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.