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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.

About Face

Portrait treats and treatises

From punchy short pieces to longer form leanings, it's the place to come for a frequent fix of the world's most accessible art form.

Queen Victoria (1819-1901), Signed and dated 1843 by Franz Xaver Winterhalter
Queen Victoria (1819-1901), Signed and dated 1843 by Franz Xaver Winterhalter
Queen Victoria (1819-1901), Signed and dated 1843 by Franz Xaver Winterhalter

Queen Victoria

by Angus Trumble, 30 August 2017

Last Sunday I had the privilege of appearing at the Canberra Writers’ Festival in conversation with Julia Baird. The subject of our session was Julia’s recent biography, Victoria the Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman who Ruled an Empire.

Sunset in the drawing room at Chesney Wold by Hablot Knight Brown
Sunset in the drawing room at Chesney Wold by Hablot Knight Brown
Sunset in the drawing room at Chesney Wold by Hablot Knight Brown

Portraiture in a Bleak House

by Angus Trumble, 31 July 2017

It may seem an odd thing to do at one’s leisure on a beautiful tropical island, but I spent much of my midwinter break a few weeks ago re-reading Bleak House.

Little John of Colchester, a poor lunatic, c.1823 by John Dempsey
Little John of Colchester, a poor lunatic, c.1823 by John Dempsey
Little John of Colchester, a poor lunatic, c.1823 by John Dempsey

Dempsey's people

by Angus Trumble, 30 June 2017

Those of you who are active in social media circles may be aware that through the past week I have unleashed a blitz on Facebook and Instagram in connection with our new winter exhibition Dempsey’s People: A Folio of British Street Portraits, 1824−1844.

A Family Being Served with Tea, ca. 1745 by an unknown artist
A Family Being Served with Tea, ca. 1745 by an unknown artist
A Family Being Served with Tea, ca. 1745 by an unknown artist

A reflection on conversation pieces

by Angus Trumble, 29 May 2017

There is in the collection of the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut, an English painting, datable on the basis of costume to about 1745, that has for many years exercised my imagination.

Angus and the late Peter C. Trumble, 1965, still then a firm advocate of the detachable collar.
Angus and the late Peter C. Trumble, 1965, still then a firm advocate of the detachable collar.
Angus and the late Peter C. Trumble, 1965, still then a firm advocate of the detachable collar.

Dementia and the arts

by Angus Trumble, 25 May 2017

That principle of equity of access has ever since been a noble aspiration for all public art museums, as it is for us here at the National Portrait Gallery.

Asiel Timor Dei, ca. 1728 by a master of Calamarca
Asiel Timor Dei, ca. 1728 by a master of Calamarca
Asiel Timor Dei, ca. 1728 by a master of Calamarca

The Viceroyalty of New Spain

by Angus Trumble, 1 May 2017

European painters always enjoyed a good deal of latitude in the representation of angels, those asexual, bodiless, celestial regiments of God, so long as they were young and beautiful.

Luke and Nacoya, 2016 by Daniel Sponiar
Luke and Nacoya, 2016 by Daniel Sponiar
Luke and Nacoya, 2016 by Daniel Sponiar

The National Photographic Portrait Prize turns ten

by Angus Trumble, 31 March 2017

It is now a little more than 178 years since the French Academy of Sciences was made aware of the invention of the daguerreotype process.

Grateful admiration and brotherly love

by Angus Trumble, 9 March 2017

In the earliest stages of the Great War, the Royal Pavilion in Brighton was turned into a military hospital, and arrangements made there to accommodate the different dietary and other requirements of Hindu, Sikh and Muslim patients.

Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles, 1824 by James Thomson
Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles, 1824 by James Thomson
Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles, 1824 by James Thomson

Audacity, audacity, audacity

by Angus Trumble, 2 March 2017

Angus delves into the biographies of two ambitious characters; Sir Stamford Raffles and Sir John Pope-Hennessy.

Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat

by Angus Trumble, 2 February 2017

Nothing quite prepares the first-time visitor to Cambodia for the scale and grandeur of the monuments of the ancient Khmer civilisation of Angkor.

Angus Trumble and Brownie
Angus Trumble and Brownie
Angus Trumble and Brownie

A bear of great substance

by Angus Trumble, 2 December 2016

Just in time for Christmas, Angus reflects on the most special present he has ever received.

A papal pet encounter

by Angus Trumble, 31 October 2016

In honour of the launch of the Popular Pet Show, Angus recalls a diplomatic incident with an over-excited golden retriever.

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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