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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 with bowler hat, 1885–6 by Paul Cézanne

Hail Cézanne

Magazine article by John Elderfield, 2017

John Elderfield lauds the portraiture of Paul Cézanne, the artist described by both Matisse and Picasso as ‘the father of us all’.

Jim Cobb at Chroma factory Mt Kuring-gai, NSW, 2017 by Mark Mohell

The alchemist’s profile

Magazine article by John Zubrzycki, 2017

John Zubrzycki meets Australian paint pioneer Jim Cobb.

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.

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.

John Clarke

Humour’s warm refuge

Magazine article by Angus Trumble, 2017

Angus Trumble pays tribute to John Clarke.

Dr John Yu

Clay, water, fire

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2005

Ah Xian's porcelain portrait of paediatrician Dr. John Yu reflects Yu's heritage and interests.

Self portrait 1955

Portrait of the artist as a young man

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2010

Dr Sarah Engledow explores the early life and career of John Brack.

Portrait of a Man (Fred Williams), 1958

Head, hand, heart

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2007

An extensive selection of portraits by John Brack were on display at the National Portrait Gallery in late 2007.

Portrait of Kym Bonython/Portrait of Mr Bonython's speedway cap

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.

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.

John Bell as King Lear oil on Belgian linen, 2001 by Nicholas Harding

Lear unbuttoned

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2011

Sarah Engledow steps up to the footlights and applauds the storyline behind Nicholas Harding's portraits of actor John Bell.

Joan Croll

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.

John Monash

Lauded legacy

Magazine article by Karl James, 2015

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

Portrait of Captain James Cook RN

Capturing Cook

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2003

In focussing on the importance of gifts in the building of the collection, prominence must be given to the most spectacular of the National Portrait Gallery's acquisitions; the portrait of Captain James Cook RN by John Webber R.A.

Viscount Robert Lowe (Image plate from Vanity Fair Magazine)

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.

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.

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.

Adam Scott: at Sanctuary Cove Golf Course

Celebrities on the field

Magazine article by Christine Clark, 2006

Robin Sellick's portraits of Australian sportspeople include Harry Kewell, Adam Scott, Shane Warne, Mark Webber and John Newcombe.

Kate Hattam

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.

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.

Colin Madigan and Robert Hughes, Canberra

Three Dimensional

Magazine article by Kate Gollings, 2004

Kate Gollings describes an encounter between three generations of Australian photographers; David Moore, Max Dupain and John Gollings.

Herb Wharton, Cunnamulla, Qld

Thousand mile stare

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2004

John Elliott talks about his photographic portrait practice, including his iconic image of Slim Dusty arm-in-arm with Dame Edna Everage.

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.

David Campese II

Inspiration + Realisation: John Singer Sargent

Magazine article by Katherine Russell, 2006

Katherine Russell examines the art of Australian artist Paul Newton, referencing the portraiture of John Singer Sargent.

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.

Portrait 45

Winter 2013
Magazine

This issue features Paul Kelly, Rineke Dijkstra, John Brack, the National Photographic Portrait Prize and more.

Portrait 24

June - August 2007
Magazine

This issue of Portrait Magazine features Robert Hannaford, Walter Lindrum, John Brack, judicial portraits, Vincent Lingiari and more.

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 14

December 2004 - February 2005
Magazine

This issue of Portrait Magazine features the exhibition Masters of Fare, Greg Weight's photographic collection, John Elliott, Barbara Blackman and more.

Portrait 38

December 2010 - February 2011
Magazine

This issue features Martin Schoeller, Bess Norriss Tait, Emanuel Solomon and the sisters of St Joseph, Rennie Ellis and AC/DC, John Brack 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 15

March - May 2005
Magazine

This issue of Portrait Magazine features the exhibition The world of Thea Proctor, porcelain sculpture of Dr. John Yu, Pat Mackie, the Kylie Minogue exhibition and more.

Portrait 2

December 2001 - February 2002
Magazine

This issue of Portrait Magazine features David Moore, Midnight Oil, Dr Joan Croll by John Brack, the acquisition of the Captain Cook portrait, and more.

Portrait 58

Summer 2017-18
Magazine

Paul Cézanne, Bill Henson and Simone Young, Australian cinema’s iconic women, and feminist portraits by Kate Just.

Portrait 31

March - May 2009
Magazine

This issue features the new National Portrait Gallery building, James Cook and John Banks, Cate Blanchett, Irina Baranova, Annette Kellerman, Shepard Fairey and more.

Portrait 40

July - August 2011
Magazine

This issue features Claudia Karvan & Jimmy Pozarik, Agus Suwage & Contemporary Portraiture from Asia, Fred Williams, Zhong Chen, John Bell, The French Antipodes and more.

Portrait 41

October - November 2011
Magazine

This issue features Kate Beynon, Philosopher Cynthia Freeland, Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, John Tsiavis & Chris Lilley, UK's BP Portrait Award, Purchasing power in colonial Sydney and more.

Portrait of Captain James Cook RN

The Quiet Australian

Magazine article by Brian Dale, 2001

Robert Oatley talks about the repatriation of the John Webber portrait of Captain James Cook.

Blue Easel with Jack Drawing, 1996-1999

The man behind the art

Magazine article by Giles Auty, 2002

Giles Auty introduces British painter John Wonnacott who will talk at the National Portrait Gallery on 2 November 2002.

Portrait of Captain James Cook RN

In the National Interest

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2003

In focussing on the importance of gifts in the building of the collection, prominence must be given to the most spectacular of the National Portrait Gallery's acquisitions; the portrait of Captain James Cook RN by John Webber R.A.

Bride, 2015 by Abdul Abdullah

Observation point

Magazine article by Abdul Abdullah, 2015

I wanted to be a journalist. I was very idealistic and I had a big chip on my shoulder. I wanted to investigate the human condition, drawing attention to those in need with the hope of someday effecting positive change.

Portrait of Captain James Cook RN

Cook in context

Magazine article by Diana Warnes, 2007

Robert Oatley's continuing benefaction has helped the National Portrait Gallery acquire works that add another layer to the story of Captain Cook.

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 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.

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

Self portrait, c.1900

Reflection

Magazine article by Michael Rosen, 2013

British novelist and poet, Michael Rosen, weaves a tale about his early encounters with creativity and the self-portrait of a childhood friend.

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.

MacKenzie family silhouette

All there in black and white

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2007

The National Portrait Gallery acquired a beguiling silhouette group portrait by Samuel Metford, an English artist who spent periods of his working life in America.

Ma Khin Mar Mar Kyi

My Favourite Australian

Magazine article by Christine Clark, 2009

The Australian public was invited in 2008 to vote for their favourite Australian.  After the votes were tallied an exhibition of the top-ten Popular Australians and the top-twenty unsung heroes was displayed at the National Portrait Gallery.

John Coburn

101 photographic portraits

Magazine article by Michelle Fracaro, 2004

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

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.

A Goldfields Member

Showing character

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2016

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

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'.

Study for Aunty Mary King, 2010 by Mathew Lynn

The animating signature

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2019

Joanna Gilmore delights in the affecting drawings of Mathew Lynn.

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.

Steve Irwin

Crikey!

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2006

Robin Sellick captured a rare moment of quietude from the late conservation star Steve Irwin.

Roy de Mastre, c. 1930

An Intimate Portrait of an Australian Artist in 1930

Magazine article by Lauren Dalla, 2003

Lauren Dalla examines the life of Australian painter Roy de Maistre and his portrait by Jean Shepeard.

Paul Grabowsky

Feel the music

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2010

Dr Christopher Chapman discusses the portrait of Australian composer Paul Grabowsky by photographer Martin Philbey.

Dr Fiona Wood AM

The Good Doctor

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2005

Dr Sarah Engledow describes the achievements of internationally renowned burns and trauma surgeon Professor Fiona Wood.

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.

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.

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, 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.

Self portrait

A guy from Paris

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2018

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

Frank Fenner AC CMG MBE

The highest honour

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2007

Bringing eminent scientist Frank Fenner and artist Jude Rae together for the National Portrait Gallery commission was like matchmaking.

Matepai c. 1929-32

Missionary positions

Magazine article by Stella Ramage, 2016

Stella Ramage on Father McHardy’s Bougainville portraiture.

The Honourable Bob Hawke savouring a strawberry milkshake, 2017 by Harold David

The intellectual larrikin

Magazine article by Barrie Cassidy, 2019

Barrie Cassidy pays textured tribute to the inimitable Bob Hawke.

Andrew Sachs (‘Manuel’)

Star signs

Magazine article by Barry York, 2018

Barry York charts the course from childhood request to autographed celebrity portrait anthology.

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.

Dan Sultan

Dan the man

Magazine article by India Bednall, 2015

Martin Philbey’s portrait of Dan Sultan.

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.
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

Mia Wasikowska as Robyn Davidson at Hamelin Pool, 2013 by Matt Nettheim

Hump days

Magazine article by Jessica Bolton, 2017

Jessica Bolton navigates the parallel tracks documenting Robyn Davidson’s astonishing journey.

Ian Roberts (after Coypel 1709)

Super League

Magazine article by David Sequeira, 2004

The portrait of Ian Roberts by Ross Watson.

Robert Klippel

A bond of friendship

Magazine article by Yvonne Audette AM, 2005

Australia's major abstract painter Yvonne Audette discusses her portrait of sculptor Robert Kippel.

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.

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.

Professor Peter Doherty

A Meeting of Great Minds

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2002

The story behind Rick Amor's portrait of Professor Peter Doherty.

Self Portrait, 1963–64

What price self?

Magazine article by Jane Raffan, 2013

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

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.

Jack Brabham

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. 

David Williamson

The Story So Far...

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2002

A reflection on the National Portrait Gallery's first four years.

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.

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?

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.

Megan Gale

Glamour vs grunge

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2010

Christopher Chapman examines the battle of glamour vs. grunge which played out in the fashion and advertising of the 1990s.

Self portrait

The Dissecting Room

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2015

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

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.

The Rays, 1970 
Raindance Corporation, Frank Gillette, Michael Shamberg, Paul Ryan

Post digital

Magazine article by Tegan Mcauley, 2015

Tegan McAuley looks at the evolution of video portraiture.

Creator versus character - Chris Lilley

How to be a boy

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2011

Christopher Chapman profiles Chris Lilley, actor and creator of Angry Boys.

Director John Duigan and actor Judy Davis on the set of ‘Winter of our Dreams’, Sydney, 1981 by Robert McFarlane

Natural born stiller

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2016

Penelope Grist speaks to Robert McFarlane about shooting for the stars.

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.

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.

Mirka Mora

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.  

Sir Joseph Banks

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.

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.

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.

William Bligh

Old Blighty

Magazine article by Angus Trumble, 2016

Angus Trumble ponders the many faces of William Bligh.

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.

Portrait of Troppo Architects, 2009

Thinking about architecture and portraiture

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2009

Dr Christopher Chapman describes the experimental exhibition Portraits + Architecture

Nancy Bird Walton, c. 1938

The aviatrix

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2009

Joanna Gilmour explores the extraordinary life of Australian female aviator Nancy Bird Walton AO OBE

Miss Alesandra, 2010

The more things change

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2011

National Photographic Portrait Prize curator, Sarah Engledow, finds reward in a difficult task and ultimately uncovers the essence of portraiture.

Karee Kayvon, 2006

Virtual lives

Magazine article by Gillian Raymond, 2007

A brief introduction to the Weird, Wired World of Internet Portraiture.

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.

Robert, Lindy, Grant

Face the music

Magazine article by Christine Clark, 2005

Drawn from the Gallery's collection, the exhibition Face the Music explores the remarkable talents and achievements of Australian musicians, composers, conductors and celebrities associated with the music industry.

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.

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.

Karen Gillan, 2010

Hot Scots

Magazine article by Christopher Baker, 2013

James Holloway describes the first portraits you encounter when entering the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

The family

Big bouquet of Blackmans

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2013

Dr. Sarah Engledow explores the context surrounding Charles Blackman's portrait of Judith Wright, Jack McKinney and their daughter Meredith.

Mark Richards

Off the wall

Magazine article by John Witzig, 2008
Photographer and surf mag editor John Witzig tells the stories behind his iconic surf images.
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 in red shirt, 1937 by Arthur Boyd

Arthur as Alyosha?

Magazine article by Patrick McCaughey, 2015

Patrick McCaughey explores a striking Boyd self portrait.

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.

Self portrait with Spots and Veins

Mental as everything

Magazine article by Diana Warnes, 2006

Chris O'Doherty, also known as Reg Mombassa, is best-known for his Mambo imagery but he also paints a lot of self portraits.

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.

The Coronation Theatre, Westminster Abbey: A Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2012

Imagination

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2013

Dr Sarah Engledow tells the story of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee portrait by Australian artist Ralph Heimans.

Portrait of Captain James Cook RN

Unbuttoning uniforms

Magazine article by Sharon Peoples, 2017

Sharon Peoples contemplates costumes and the construction of identity.

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.

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.

Sir Macfarlane Burnet

Picture this...

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2003

This edited version of a speech by Andrew Sayers examines some of the antecedents of the National Portrait Gallery and set out the ideas behind the modern Gallery and its collection.

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.

Ms Anna Burke MP, Speaker of the House of Representatives 2015 by Jude Rae

Hired guns, bounty hunters and horse whisperers

Magazine article by Jude Rae, 2016

Jude Rae contemplates the portrait commission.

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.

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.

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.

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.

David Marr, 2011 by Nicholas Harding

Through thick and thin

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2017

Sarah Engledow likes the manifold mediums of Nicholas Harding’s portraiture.

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.

Pierre de Rigaud de Vaudreuil de Cavagnial, Marquis de Vaudreuil, ca.1753-55

Canadian identities

Magazine article by Lilly Koltun, 2004

An exploration of national identity in the Canadian context drawn from the symposium Face to Face at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in 2004.

First-Class Marksman, 1946 by Sidney Nolan

Money for Myth

Magazine article by Jane Raffan, 2015

Australian character on the market by Jane Raffan.

Ray Lawler

Diamond Doll

Magazine article by Karen Vickery, 2016

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

Adrian Rawlins

Earth to earth

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2013

Dr Sarah Engledow discusses the recent gift of works by David Campbell.

JK Rowling, 2005

Why do painted portraits still matter?

Magazine article by Sandy Nairne, 2006

Lecture by Sandy Nairne, Director, National Portrait Gallery, London, given at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra on 28 April 2006.

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.

Mr John Eason

The shipwright's arms

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2013

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

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.

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.

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.

Lewis Morley

Myself and Eye

Magazine article by Magda Keaney, 2003

Magda Keaney speaks with Lewis Morley about his photographic career and the major retrospective of his work on display at the NPG.

Thua Tich, South Vietnam, 1969-06 by Christopher Bellis

The jungle look

Magazine article by David Gist, 2019

David Gist steps beyond the public relations veneer of Australia’s official Vietnam War portrait photographs.

One hundred days at 7pm 2015 by Fiona McMonagle

Self-effacing

Magazine article by Michael Wardell, 2016

Michael Wardell samples the fare in the University of Queensland National Self-portrait Prize.

Howard Taylor

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.

The possessed, 1942 by Albert Tucker

The inner voice

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2011

Dr Christopher Chapman, curator of Inner Worlds: Portraits & Psychology looks at Albert Tucker's Heidelberg military hospital portraits.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Chris Wallace-Crabbe

Confessional conversations

The portraiture of Kristin Headlam
Magazine article by Fiona Gruber, 2015

Fiona Gruber investigates the work of Australian painter Kristin Headlam.

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.

Mr and Mrs Horace Keats in the

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.

Yhonnie and Indiana, 2012

Surface tension

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2013

Joanna Gilmour on the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2013.

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.

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.

Self portrait

Me Myself I

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2001

Andrew Sayers explores the self-portraits created by Australian artist Sidney Nolan.

Rupert Murdoch

Corporate Characters

Magazine article by Gillian Raymond, 2005

A collection of thirty-seven caricatures by the artist Joe Greenberg capture the heroes and villians of Australian business in the 1980s.

My father-in-law watering his garden, 1986 by Davida Allen

Lovingly observed

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2009

Sarah Engledow previews the beguiling summer exhibition, Idle hours.

Lauren in Red, 2003

Is the truth of portraiture vested exclusively in likeness?

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2006

Curator Michael Desmond introduces the exhibition Truth and Likeness, an investigation of the importance of likeness to portraiture.

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 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.

Self-portrait, 1962 by Judy Cassab

Flesh, figure and rock

Magazine article by Aimee Board, 2018

Aimee Board traces Judy Cassab’s path to the Australian outback, arriving at the junction of inspiration and abstraction.

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.

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.
Lindy Lee

The long game

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2020

Penelope Grist spends some quality time with the Portrait Gallery’s summer collection exhibition, Eye to Eye.

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.

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.

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.

Clifton Pugh painting in the studio

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.

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.

Jaynie Anderson

Sitter still

Magazine article by Emeritus Professor Jaynie Anderson AM, 2015

Jaynie Anderson reflects on her experience as sitter for Reshid Bey’s 1962 portrait.

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.

Jacki Weaver

Flash mob

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2019

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

Portrait of a Lady (Sonia McMahon)

Desperately seeking Sonia

Magazine article by Angus Trumble, 2015

Esther Erlich’s portrait of Lady McMahon.

Self portrait

Small worlds

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2010

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

Self portrait, 1954

A sketch for some portraits

Magazine article by Judith Pugh, 2005

Judith Pugh reflects on Clifton Pugh's approach to portrait making.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Studio of the American & Australasian Photographic Co., Hill End, 1872

A rogue's calling card

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2008

Joanna Gilmour explores the stories behind the ninteenth-century carte de visites of bushrangers Frank Gardiner and Fred Lowry.

Geo Face Distributor

Abstraction and figuration

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2009

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

Karl Robert, Count Nesselrode, 1818 by Sir Thomas Lawrence

The Lawrence lustre

Magazine article by Angus Trumble, 2019

Angus Trumble salutes the glorious portraiture of Sir Thomas Lawrence.

Bee Miles

Good, bad and the ugly

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2007

Michael Desmond explores what makes a portrait subject significant.

Sisters, 2015 by André Brönnimann

Adam’s Prize Apples

Magazine article by Pamela Gerrish Nunn, 2016

Pamela Gerrish Nunn explores New Zealand’s premium award for portraiture.

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.

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.

Untitled (girl on chair with red shoes) by Violet Frisby

Finding Mrs Frisby

Magazine article by Robyn Sweaney, 2016

Robyn Sweaney's quiet Violet obsession.

Self Portrait with Stetson, 2011 by Darren McDonald

Painting them gently

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2015

Penny Grist on motivation, method and melancholy in the portraiture of Darren McDonald.

Miles from nowhere, 2008 (printed 2014) from the Games of consequence series 2008 Polixeni Papapetrou

Mother’s muse

Magazine article by Inga Walton, 2020

Inga Walton traces the poignant path of photographer Polixeni Papapetrou, revealed in the NGV’s summer retrospective.

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.

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.

William Charles Wentworth -The Australian Patriot

The Wentworths – Hidden in Plain Sight

Magazine article by Grace Carroll, 2015

Grace Carroll on the gendered world of the Wentworths.

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.

Geoffrey Graham

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.

Jessie Street

Australia’s great internationalists

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2016

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

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.

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.

Lola Montes

You beauty

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2010

Joanna Gilmour explores the fact and fictions surrounding the legendary life of Irish-born dancer Lola Montez.

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.

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.

Sir Lawrence Wackett

Starry knight

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2010

Aircraft designer, pilot and entrepreneur, Sir Lawrence Wackett rejoins friends and colleagues on the walls of the National Portrait Gallery.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Louise Lovely feeding gulls in a park, 1969 Unknown photographer

Jewelled nights

Magazine article by Dr Anne Sanders, 2017

Anne Sanders celebrates the cinematic union of two pioneering australian women.

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

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.

Janice Wakely

Generous Janice

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2013

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

Dame Mary Gilmore

Painting writing

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2007

Dr Sarah Engledow explores the portraits of writers held in the National Portrait Gallery's collection.

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.

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