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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.

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.

Thilin-Thilin Gooragall Nyajaringil Garnkiny-nu (white gum tree, mother for the moon), 2018 by Shirley Purdie


General content

The fourth row of paintings interweave Ngarranggarni, memories, relationships and Country.

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.

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.

Scone, 2010 by Darren McDonald
Private collection, Melbourne and courtesy of Scott Livesey Galleries

Darren McDonald

Explore The Popular Pet Show

The wild balancing act of McDonald’s home décor (is that there as a joke? where do I actually sit down? is this ironic or what? what a lovely photo of Darren and Robin in Europe!) is reflected in his own personality.

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.

Man of the year #4, 2011 by Agus Suwage

Agus Suwage

by Enin Supriyanto
Artist essays

Born in 1959, Agus Suwage was educated in the creative hub of Central Java, Yogyakarta before moving west to study graphic design at the Bandung Institute of Technology.

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.

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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