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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.

Thomas Sutcliffe Mort and his wife Theresa

A head for business and a heart for love


For love, not money

Thomas and John Clarke, bushrangers, photographed in Braidwood Gaol

The last bushrangers

It's Complicated

Brothers in harms

Pamela See (Xue Mei-Ling)

Contributing artists

Born: 1979, Brisbane
Works: Brisbane

Look Closer, 2013 by Yanni Floros

Yanni Floros

More about In the flesh artists

Yanni Floros is an Adelaide based artist who trained at the National Art School in Sydney graduating as a sculpture major. Since then he has shown his work both locally and internationally in Berlin, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.

Dylan Mooney sitting on a chair in front of a wall with paintings and drawings

Dylan Mooney

Artists and Collectives

Dylan Mooney, a proud Yuwi man from Mackay, Queensland, based in Meanjin/Brisbane, works across painting, printmaking, digital illustration and drawing, visually translating stories of resilience, survival, connection and love.

Queenie McKenzie Nakara

She saved his life. He showed her painting.

Nearest & Dearest

Leaders, painters, friends

The Boys Next Door

Oz Punk

Sends a permanent shiver down my spine
General content

In 1976, without having been blooded on the Sydney or Melbourne pub circuit, The Saints recorded a single – ‘(I’m) Stranded’ – earning them the distinction of releasing a punk single before The Sex Pistols did.

Walking in Tall Grass, Marion 2, 2011 by Jan Nelson

Jan Nelson

More about In the flesh artists

Jan Nelson was born in Melbourne. She graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 1983 and has been exhibited her work in both solo and group exhibitions throughout Australia since that time including at the MCA, Sydney, National Gallery of Victoria, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane and the Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide.

Christopher Bassi standing in an empty office next to a large yellow painting

Christopher Bassi

Artists and Collectives

Known for his representational painting, Meriam and Yupungathi man Christopher Bassi, based in Meanjin/Brisbane, addresses issues surrounding cultural identity, alternative genealogies and colonial legacies.

Judith Wright with Barbara Blackman

Friendship’s rhyme and reason

Nearest & Dearest

Poetic trio

Angus Young, AC/DC, LA

Oz Rock

Gettin’ robbed, gettin’ stoned, gettin’ beat up, broken boned
General content

Two of the music industry’s highest-selling performers originated in suburban Australia. The Bee Gees started out in Brisbane, for instance, and AC/DC played their first gigs at a nightclub in inner Sydney.

Leah King-Smith

Contributing artists

Born: 1957, Gympie, QLD
Works: Brisbane

Carol McGregor

Contributing artists

Born: 1961, Hastings, New Zealand
Works: Brisbane

Mia Boe standing on striped rugs on a concrete floor, in a room with scattered paintings around the walls

Mia Boe

Artists and Collectives

Mia Boe is a Narrm/Melbourne-based artist known for her haunting and evocative painting practice, informed by her Butchulla and Burmese ancestry.

Li Cunxin

Li Cunxin, 2017–2018

by Jun Chen
General content

Commissioned with funds provided by Tim Fairfax AC 2018

Tommy Woodcock and Reckless

Australian racing legends and best friends


The mane thing is trust

The family

Literary lovers’ life liaison


Desire drives forbidden love

Portrait of Mrs Tom Roberts

Who is Lillie Roberts?


Talented wife for a talented husband

The Water Nymph, Miss Pansy Montague

Of Pansy, plastiques and prudes


Near-naked subversion

EY Principal sponsor


Support your Portrait Gallery

We are grateful to our supporters who help us care for, exhibit and study the Gallery's Collection and to offer programs that bring our portraits to life.

Convict love token from J. Waldon, 1832

To coin a (farewell) phrase


A penny for their thoughts

Robert, Lindy, Grant

Immediately, there was a crackle

It's Complicated

A meeting of minds

Thomas Archbold, Durham, 1826 by John Dempsey

Street fare

General content

The late Georgian and early Victorian working classes often bought their food in ale-houses, chop-houses and ‘penny pie shops’, or purchased their meals day after day in the streets.

The vigil, 2011 by Anthony Anderton

Anthony Anderton

NPPP 2012 learning resource

An interview with the photographer.

Davida Allen, 2016 by Mark Mohell

Davida Allen

Explore The Popular Pet Show

Going around a gallery with a child, we point to a painting of a dog and brightly ask ‘What’s that?’ If they don’t say ‘A dog’, we tell them that’s what it is. We don’t say it’s a shape inscribed by an artist that’s popularly understood to signify a dog. That’d only serve to foster a smarty-pants.

Tim Fairfax AC

Tim Fairfax, 2018

by Russell Shakespeare
General content

Commissioned with funds provided by The Calvert-Jones Foundation 2018

William Robinson, 2016 by Mark Mohell

William Robinson

Explore The Popular Pet Show

Unique in the world, perhaps, is a bronze sculpture that fuses the age-old human portrait bronze tradition, and the later genre of the bronze pug figurine: that’d be William Robinson’s Self-portrait with pug.

Mal Meninga

Mal Meninga, 2018

by Peter Hudson
General content

Commissioned with funds provided by Maliganis Edwards Johnson and Alan Dodge AM 2018

Marilyn Ball, Albatross, 2018 (detail) by Linde Ivimey

So Fine

17 May 2018
Archived media releases 2018

The National Portrait Gallery is pleased to announce its winter exhibition is So Fine: Contemporary women artists make Australian history. It will open to the public from 29 June 2018.

Marilyn Ball, Albatross, 2018 (detail) by Linde Ivimey

So Fine

28 June 2018
Archived media releases 2018

Ten women artists explore the possibilities of portraiture as a contemporary art form; and reinterpret and reimagine Australian history in the Portrait Gallery’s new exhibition So Fine: Contemporary women artists make Australian history.

Bathing woman, Bridlington, c.1825 by John Dempsey

Allow me to introduce...

General content

These full-length figures in watercolour, gouache and pencil date mostly from the 1820s, and almost all come from the collection of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart.

Alab ng puso (Fire in the heart), 2010 by Alfredo Esquillo Jr

Alfredo Esquillo Jr

by Patrick D. Flores
Artist essays

Born in Manila in 1972, Alfredo Esquillo Jr majored in painting at University of Santo Thomas.

Li Cunxin

Twenty new portraits marking Portrait Gallery’s twentieth birthday

21 August 2018
Archived media releases 2018

To celebrate the National Portrait Gallery’s twentieth anniversary as an institution, twenty portraits of outstanding Australian individuals have been commissioned for the permanent collection. This is the largest undertaking for the Gallery’s commissioning program in its twenty-year existence.

Ngalim-Ngalimbooroo Ngagenybe

Presenting… Shirley Purdie’s Ngalim-Ngalimbooroo Ngagenybe

Wednesday 27 May 2020
Archived media releases 2020

The National Portrait Gallery this week launches an online exhibition of Shirley Purdie’s remarkable self-portrait Ngalim-Ngalimbooroo Ngagenybe to coincide with Reconciliation Week.

Our only concern is the void, 2013 by Nik Lee, video: 12 minutes

Macquarie Digital Portraiture Award media information

28 August 2013
Archived media releases 2013

The National Portrait Gallery recently announced the finalists for the Macquarie Digital Portraiture Award 2013.

Tony Shaw

Tony Shaw, 2018

by Sarah Rhodes
General content

Commissioned with funds from the Patrick Corrigan Portrait Commission Series 2018

Face of South Sudan, 2012 by Melanie Faith Dove

Melanie Faith Dove

Finalist interviews

I had been watching Agnes with intrigue, her face and profile were so mesmerizing. On our final day together I pulled her aside and convinced her that she had such an amazing face that I needed to get a photograph for myself. It was very spontaneous in that I decided quickly how it would best look and shot it in only two frames.

Michelle Simmons

Michelle Simmons, 2018

by Selina Ou
General content

Commissioned with funds provided by the Sid and Fiona Myer Family Foundation 2018

Andrew Gaze

Andrew Gaze, 2018

by George Fetting
General content

Commissioned with funds provided by Trent Birkett 2018

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Forum participants

General content

Biographies of participants in the Writing lives, revealing lives forum.

Noel McKenna, 2016 by Mark Mohell

Noel McKenna

Explore The Popular Pet Show

It’s a matter beyond dispute that in the entire history of Australian art, it’s Noel McKenna who’s painted the liveliest rendition of the head of a Chihuahua.

Dr Claire Roberts


General content

About the exhibition curator Claire Roberts, and writers Eugene Wang and Zhang Letian.

Gordon Darling Hall, National Portrait Gallery


About us

Natural light and human proportions – the design by Johnson Pilton Walker

June Dally-Watkins

2023 Annual Appeal

Annual Appeal

In 2023 the Annual Appeal was focussed on a work by one of Australia's best loved and most successful portrait painters, Judy Cassab AO CBE, depicting model, entrepreneur and deportment icon, June Dally-Watkins OAM.

Mark Loane

Rugby great a fine addition to Portrait Gallery Collection

21 March 2017
Archived media releases 2017

A portrait of Australian rugby great, Dr Mark Loane AM MBBS FRANZO FRACS, is the latest addition to the National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection. The work is the final in a series of three commissioned portraits of Australian rugby luminaries funded by Gallery benefactor, Mr Patrick Corrigan AM.

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Portrait Donors

Listed by year
Honour board
Goollabal (Rainbow Serpent), 2018 by Shirley Purdie


General content

The second row of paintings recall stories relating to specific sites, experiences and activities.

Barry Humphries

Uncommon Australians

The vision of Gordon and Marilyn Darling
General content

Sarah Engledow writes about Gordon and Marilyn Darling and their support for the National Portrait Gallery throughout its evolution.

Untitled, 2010 by Jose Legaspi

Jose Legaspi

by Patrick D. Flores
Artist essays

Jose Legaspi was born in 1959 in Manila. He achieved degrees in zoology and biology before turning to fine arts in the mid-1980s.

Arcadia: Sound of the sea

Exhibition introduction
General content

One night in the spring of 1970 in an old house in Whale Beach, north of Sydney, John Witzig, Albe Falzon and David Elfick put together the first issue of Tracks, playing Neil Young’s album Harvest over and over again as they pasted up galleys of type.

Robyn Sweaney, 2016 by Mark Mohell

Robyn Sweaney

Explore The Popular Pet Show

Robyn's parents had two terriers, Wuff and Snuff. In spite of Snuff’s ominous name and a couple of close shaves – once, he jumped out of a moving car, and another time, on a long road trip, he was accidentally left behind at a petrol station – he outlived Wuff.

Life Dancers, 2015 by Elizabeth Looker

NPPP 2016 exhibition essay

General content

Penny Grist, National Photographic Portrait Prize judge and curator, introduces the 2016 Prize.

National Portrait Gallery


About us

How the National Portrait Gallery and its unique collection came to be

Nicholas Harding, 2016 Mark Mohell

Nicholas Harding

Explore The Popular Pet Show

Over the years the young Nicholas Harding got his hands on various mice and guinea pigs, but they served mainly to illustrate the concept of mortality. 

David Marr, 2011 by Nicholas Harding

Nicholas Harding: 28 Portraits

Exhibition essay
General content

Sarah Engledow looks at three decades of Nicholas Harding's portraiture.

Nick Mourtzakis

A non-material and non-physical portrait

Lecture, 21 May 2011
General content

Inner Worlds features the recently commissioned portrait of world-renowned philosopher of consciousness David Chalmers by Melbourne-based artist Nick Mourtzakis.

The Bare story

General content

Curator, Penny Grist, reveals how this exhibition came to be

Dr Christopher Chapman

The art of Inner Worlds

Lecture, 7 May 2011
General content

Dr Christopher Chapman NPG Curator of Inner Worlds explains the development of an exhibition that spans from Surrealism to contemporary art.

Self portrait

Rick Amor: 21 Portraits

General content

Sarah Engledow chronicles Rick Amor's work and accomplishments in this extensive essay in conjunction with the exhibition Rick Amor: 21 Portraits.

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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