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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.

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.

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.

Portrait of Captain James Cook RN

Thrown together

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2009

Shipmates for years, James Cook and Joseph Banks each kept a journal but neither man shed light on their relationship.

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.

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.

Portrait of Brian Dunlop

A quiet moment

Magazine article by Helene Ladomirska, 2006

As Bryan Westwood’s portrait of Brian Dunlop hangs adjacent to Brian Dunlop’s portrait of the philanthropist Dr Joseph Brown AO OBE, we see the artist of one work as the subject of the other. 

Portrait 39

March - May 2011
Magazine

This issue features the National Photographic Portrait Prize, Neil Murray, Lee Tulloch on Stuart Campbell, Joseph Banks, Scott Redford 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.

Dr Joseph Brown with Two Typists

Unboxed

Magazine article by Sandra Bruce, 2022

Sandra Bruce explores a new acquisition that has within it a story of interconnectivities in the Australian art world.

Portrait of Mary MacKillop c 1873

The Saint and the merchant

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2010

Emanuel Solomon gave shelter to the Sisters of St Joseph upon the excommunication of St Mary MacKillop.

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.

Greek Orthodox Priest, 2015 by Sarah Ball

Hope for kindness

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2018

Sarah Engledow arrives at the junction of fate and hope in Sarah Ball’s poignant Immigrants series.

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.

Professor Peter Doherty

The Changing Face of the Scientist

Magazine article by Elizabeth Finlay, 2003

Scientists tend to conjure up images of men in white coats in labs but this is just one stereotype in an evolving history of how we have perceived scientists, and how their profession has been understood over the years.

Tracey

Sophisticated and glamorous

Magazine article by Amanda Rowell, 2015

Michael Riley’s early portraits by Amanda Rowell.

Ned Kelly death mask

Getting a head

Magazine article by Alexandra Roginski, 2015

Alexandra Roginski gets a feel for phrenology’s fundamentals.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The National Portrait Gallery

In the galleries

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2009

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

Self portrait

Fine and dandy

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2010

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

Captain James Cook

Rethinking foundational histories

Magazine article by Kate Fullagar, 2019

A focus on Indigenous-European relationships underpins Facing New Worlds. By Kate Fullagar.

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.

William Shakespeare, c. 1600-1610  associated with John Taylor

Take thy face hence

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2022

Joanna Gilmour travels through time to explore the National Portrait Gallery London’s masterpieces in Shakespeare to Winehouse.

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.

Portrait of Captain James Cook RN

Unbuttoning uniforms

Magazine article by Sharon Peoples, 2017

Sharon Peoples contemplates costumes and the construction of identity.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Lady Barkly

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.

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.

© 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