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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.

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.

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?

‘Untitled’ - Yellow Kangaroo Paw, 2008 by Christian Thompson

The 'I' in Indigenous art

Magazine article by Jane Raffan, 2013

Jane Raffan examines unique styles of Indigenous portraiture that challenge traditional Western concepts of the artform.

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.

Sarah Bernhardt, 1876 by Georges Clairin

Demimonde liaisons

Magazine article by Jane Raffan, 2017

Jane Raffan feasts on modernity’s entrée in the Belle Époque theatre of the demimonde.

Nose, 2008–10 by William Kentridge

A nose by any other name

Magazine article by Jane Kinsman, 2013

In the exhibition William Kentridge: Drawn from Africa at the National Gallery of Australia, the artist marries Gogol's Tsarist Russia, with that of Stalin and the damaging history of his homeland, South Africa.

Shall I raise my eyebrows and gasp? (Alex), 2011 by TextaQueen

Pen power

Magazine article by Jane Raffan, 2015

Politics and personae in the portraiture of TextaQueen by Jane Raffan.

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.

Rose Lindsay

Charmed by the Rose

Magazine article by Anthony Browell, 2004

Anthony Browell reminisces about meeting Rose Lindsay, the wife of Australian artist Norman Lindsay.

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.

Portrait 57

Winter 2017
Magazine

The discovery of Dempsey's People, Australian rugby greats, Athol Shmith's progressive pictures, and powerful Indigenous portraits.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Christos Tsiolkas

Intense identity

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2009

Dr Chistopher Chapman discusses the portrait of Australian author Christos Tsiolkas taken by John Tsiavis.

Portrait of Elizabeth Gould with a raptor, possibly a red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus), painted in her lifetime Artist unknown

Birds of a feather

Magazine article by Annette Twyman, 2021

Charting a path from cockatiel to finch, Annette Twyman explores her family portraits and stories.

Dorothy Porter

Beautiful bones

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2011

Sarah Engledow reflects on the shared life and writing of Dorothy Porter and Andrea Goldsmith.

Tim Winton

Tracks in the sand

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2008

Dr Sarah Engledow discusses Quentin Jones's photograph of Australian author Tim Winton.

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.

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.

Frances Alda

Bewitching

Magazine article by Roger Neill, 2006

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

Marilyn Darling AC

Support Crew

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2011

Portraits of philanthropists in the collection honour their contributions to Australia and acknowledge their support of the National Portrait Gallery.

The Jester (self portrait)

Bloodlines

Magazine article by Michelle Fracaro, 2004

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

Charlie as he was, 2007

I'm not there

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2008
Christopher Chapman looks at some contemporary portraits that explore the construction of identity.
Dulcie Deamer, c. 1920

Out of the shadows

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2013

Joanna Gilmour profiles the life and times of the shutter sisters May and Mina Moore.

Facing Australia, Composite portrait: Facing St Lucia, 2003

Conflicting images

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2008

Michael Desmond reveals the origins of composite portraits and their evolution in the pursuit of the ideal.

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.

Self Portrait, Stuart Campbell by Stuart Campbell

The essence of you

Magazine article by Lee Tulloch, 2011

Lee Tulloch remembers her great friend NIDA-trained actor turned photographer Stuart Campbell.

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.

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.

Self portrait

Small worlds

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2010

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

Automatic for the people: Casey Stoner

Speed demon

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2009

Scott Redford discusses his dynamic portrait commission of motorcycling champion and 2008 Young Australian of the Year Casey Stoner.

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.

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.

Captain W Kinghorne

The bright-eyed Mariner

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2008
A new colonial portrait brings a zealous captain near.
Jessie Street

Australia’s great internationalists

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2016

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

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.

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.

Wesley Enoch and David McAllister

Splendid, many-splendoured

Magazine article by Sandra Bruce, 2021

Sandra Bruce gazes on love and the portrait through Australian Love Stories’ multi-faceted prism.

Self-Portrait, 1981 by Don Bachardy

Drawing inspiration

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2017

Christopher Chapman absorbs the gentle touch of Don Bachardy’s portraiture.

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.

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.

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.

The Long Awaited, 2008 by Patricia Piccinini

In the flesh

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2015

An exhibition of humanness in ten themes by Penelope Grist.

Nannultera, a young cricketer of the Natives' Training Institution, Poonindie , 1854 John Michael Crossland

The catechist and the cricketer

Magazine article by Stephen Valambras Graham, 2021

Stephen Valambras Graham traverses the intriguing socio-political terrain behind two iconic First Nations portraits of the 1850s.

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.

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.

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.

© National Portrait Gallery 2022
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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 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