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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.

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.

Aldo Giurgola

A Life in Service

Magazine article by Mandy Martin, 2005

Artist Mandy Martin describes the creation of her portrait of Aldo Giurgola, principal architect of Australia's Parliament House.

Martin Schoeller 2008

The God-shaped hole

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2010

Exploring the photographs of Martin Schoeller, Michael Desmond delves into the uneasy pact that exists between celebrity and the camera.

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.

Martin Sharp

Oz and beyond

Magazine article by Diana Warnes, 2007

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

Portrait 23

March - May 2007

This issue of Portrait Magazine features the Reveries: On Photography and Mortality exhibition, Peter Cosgrove, Martin Sharp, Terence Tao and more.

Portrait 38

December 2010 - February 2011

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.

Dan Sultan

Dan the man

Magazine article by India Bednall, 2015

Martin Philbey’s portrait of Dan Sultan.

Portrait 57

Winter 2017

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

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.

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.

HM Queen Elizabeth II

Portrait story

Magazine article by Polly Borland, 2022

Photographer Polly Borland on capturing Queen Elizabeth II.

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.

Tony Bilson

Eating the seasons

Magazine article by Dr Anne Sanders, 2019

Anne Sanders imbibes Tony Bilson’s gastronomic revolution.

David Williamson

The Story So Far...

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2002

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

John Coburn

101 photographic portraits

Magazine article by Michelle Fracaro, 2004

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

Barack Obama, 2018 by Kehinde Wiley

The Obama effect

Magazine article by Kim Sajet, 2018

Kim Sajet reflects on two portraits with a power that extends beyond gallery walls.

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.

Daniel Johns, Silverchair Melbourne 2007 by Martin Philbey

Rock art

Magazine article by Andrew Mayo, 2016

Andrew Mayo talks to three of Australia’s most prominent and prolific music photographers — Martin Philbey, Kane Hibberd and Daniel Boud — about the challenges and inspiration behind their craft.

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.

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.

Nothing's as precious as a hole in the ground

Seduce and Destroy

Magazine article by Magda Keaney, 2001

Magda Keaney explores the symbolism in eX de Medici's portrait of Midnight Oil.

Frances Alda


Magazine article by Roger Neill, 2006

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

Margaret Whitlam

Glossy too

Magazine article by Christine Clark, 2005

The Glossy 2 exhibition highlights the integral role magazine photography plays in illustrating and shaping our contemporary culture.

Video still from Dream Job, 2011 by David M Thomas

My dream job

Magazine article by David Thomas AM, 2012

Artist David M Thomas lists some of the ideas and influences behind his video portraits.

Australian Dance Party and Catapult Dance performing Connecting Stories: Innovations at the National Portrait Gallery, 2022 Lorna Sim

Let’s dance

Magazine article by Emma Batchelor, 2022

Emma Batchelor uncovers the compelling contemporary dance made in response to the works in Shakespeare to Winehouse.

Patrick White at Centennial Park, 1979–1980


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.

Camouflage self portrait, 1986


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.

Head of a Naked Girl, 2000

Every flap, fold and bulge

Magazine article by Starr Figura, 2008
Lucian Freud's unflinching realism is on display in the first solo exhibition of his paintings and etchings at The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
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.

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).

Damon, singer, 2000 by Julian Opie

Movement is my radar

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2015

Michael Desmond charts the path of portraiture, arriving at Julian Opie’s digital realm.

Paul Kelly 30.11.1980 by Liz Reed

Pop poet

Magazine article by Dr Anne Sanders, 2013

Dr Anne Sanders previews the works in the new focus exhibition Paul Kelly and The Portraits.

Mark McManus as Will by Mark Strizic

In and out of focus

Magazine article by Gael Newton, 2017

Gael Newton looks at Australian photography, film and the sixties through the novel lens of Mark Strizic.

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.

Face House – Kyoto, Japan Architect: Kazumasa Yamashita

Alter ego

Magazine article by Tom Fryer, 2021

Tom Fryer surveys the twentieth-century architectural project, and finds representation and the portrait were integral elements.

First-Class Marksman, 1946 by Sidney Nolan

Money for Myth

Magazine article by Jane Raffan, 2015

Australian character on the market by Jane Raffan.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

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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