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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.

Bee Miles

Good, bad and the ugly

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2007

Michael Desmond explores what makes a portrait subject significant.

Inditchenous beestes of New Olland

About Face article

A remarkable undated drawing by Edward Lear (1812–88) blends natural history and whimsy.

Portrait bust of Dr Christine Rivett

In the round

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2009

Andrew Sayers outlines the highlights of the National Portrait Gallery's display of portrait sculpture.

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.

Chevalier d’Eon, 1792

All dressed up

Magazine article by Jane Raffan, 2013

Jane Raffan asks do clothes make the portrait, and can the same work with a new title fetch a better price?

image not online

Portrait Donors

Listed by year
Honour board
Camouflage self portrait, 1986

Hide/Seek

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.

Goollabal (Rainbow Serpent), 2018 by Shirley Purdie

Memories

General content

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

Dr Edward MacMahon, 1959 by William Dobell

Bill and Ted's excellent portrait.

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2016

Sarah Engledow on Messrs Dobell and MacMahon and the art of friendship.

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.

A Goldfields Member

Showing character

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2016

Joanna Gilmour on Tom Durkin playing with Melbourne's manhood.

The Conciliation, 1840 by Benjamin Duterrau

The art of conciliation

Magazine article by Gareth Knapman, 2017

Gareth Knapman explores the politics and opportunism behind the portraits of Tasmania’s Black War.

Sydney Cove medallion, 1789 by Josiah Wedgwood

The medallion

About Face article

In recent years I have become fascinated by the so-called Sydney Cove Medallion (1789), a work of art that bridges the 10,000-mile gap between the newly established penal settlement at Port Jackson and the beating heart of Enlightenment England.

High school, 2008

Subtle emotion

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2010

Christopher Chapman considers photographer Rozalind Drummond's portrait of author Nam Le.

James Ford, 1979 by Robert Mapplethorpe

Apollo's breath

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2016

Christopher Chapman delights in the intimacy of Robert Mapplethorpe's photography

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.

© 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