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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.

Martin Sharp

Oz and beyond

Magazine article by Diana Warnes, 2007

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

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.

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.

John Coburn

101 photographic portraits

Magazine article by Michelle Fracaro, 2004

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

Portrait 57

Winter 2017

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

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.

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.

Peter Sculthorpe

Creative space

Magazine article by Eric Smith, 2004

Eric Smith describes the agony and finally the ecstasy of winning the 1982 Archibald Prize with the portrait of Peter Sculthorpe.

Portrait of Ninette Dutton

In a glance

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2004

Dr Sarah Engledow explores the portrait of Ninette Dutton by Bette Mifsud.

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.

Hélène Kirsova in Petrouchka

Vintage Max

Magazine article by Gael Newton, 2003

Gael Newton delves into the life and art of renowned Australian photographer, Max Dupain.

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.

Bed piece, 1972 by Chris Burden

The boy, the bed and the gun

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2016

Christopher Chapman contemplates the provocative performance art of Chris Burden. 

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.

David Williamson

The Story So Far...

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2002

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

Jean-Paul Sartre, 1946


Magazine article by Robert McFarlane, 2004

Henri-Cartier-Bresson invented the grammar for photographing life in the 20th century.

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.

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.

Installing David Walsh

On the road again

Magazine article by Dr Deborah Hill, 2017

Deborah Hill talks figures with character, as the National Portrait Gallery touring exhibitions program welcomes its millionth visitor.

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.

Joan Kirner

Joan Alone

Magazine article by Julia Gillard AC, 2015

Julia Gillard pays poignant tribute to her friend and mentor, the late Joan Kirner, Victoria’s first and only female premier.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Asuceleng (Dog-boar), 2010

Man of the year

Magazine article by Christine Clark, 2011

Exhibition curator Christine Clark introduces the work by Indonesian artist Agus Suwage created for Beyond the self: Contemporary portraiture from Asia.

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.
Thomas Gainsborough, c.1758-59 by Thomas Gainsborough

Keep it in the family

Magazine article by David Solkin, 2019

David Solkin ponders the provocations and inspirations of the enigmatic Thomas Gainsborough.

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.

Ningali Lawford-Wolf

Powerful Indigenous women

Magazine article by June Oscar AO, 2017

June Oscar AO lauds three iconic Aboriginal figures in the Portrait Gallery collection who have inspired and influenced her.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Gordon Darling Hall

Portrait of the Gallery

Magazine article by Graeme Dix, 2016

A design diary retrospective.

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.

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.

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.

The girls, 2017 by Tamara Dean

Snap decisions

Magazine article by Robert Cook, 2018

NPPP judge Robert Cook provides irreverent insight into this year’s fare, and having to be a bit judgemental.

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.

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.

Tony Bilson

Eating the seasons

Magazine article by Dr Anne Sanders, 2019

Anne Sanders imbibes Tony Bilson’s gastronomic revolution.

Miles and Arkie, 2015 by Clint Peloso

Shop Talk

Magazine article by Stephen Phillips, 2016

Angus and the arbiters talk (photo) shop for the National Photographic Portrait Prize.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Mick Jagger, Madonna and Tony Curtis, 1997

The Vanity model

Magazine article by David Friend, 2009

Vanity Fair Editor David Friend describes how the rebirth of the magazine sated our desire for access into the lives of celebrities and set the standard for the new era of portrait photography.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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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