Ned Kelly the Bushranger (from The Australasian Sketcher, 7 August 1880), 1880
by an unknown artist
wood engraving on paper (sheet: 63.7 x 50.5 cm, image: 40.5 x 27.9 cm)
Edward 'Ned' Kelly (1855-1880), bushranger, is Australia's pre-eminent folk hero. Kelly and his siblings were raised by their mother, neé Ellen Quinn, after the death of their father, an Irish former convict. The family was in constant conflict with the authorities, and Kelly, implicated in the criminal activities of the Quinn clan, was charged with several offences over the 1860s and 70s. A police crackdown led to the arrest of Mrs Kelly in April 1878. In October, Redmond Barry sentenced her to 3 years' hard labour. Soon after, Ned Kelly, his brother Dan and two companions shot three policemen who were searching for them at Stringybark Creek. They avoided capture until they arrived in the town of Glenrowan in June 1880, intending to ambush a police train. In the town's inn, Kelly, wearing a homemade suit of metal armour, was wounded in a siege in which the others were killed. He was hanged in Melbourne Gaol on 11 November 1880.
Accession number: 2002.45
More about the artist and subject
Sideshow Alley: the tea towel
Dirty dishes? Dirty deeds? Clean your slate with a limited edition bushrangers tea towel. 100% linen hand printed by Megalo print studio and gallery.
Trumble Tour - part 4
National Portrait Gallery Director, Angus Trumble, talks about the death mask of Ned Kelly.
Magazine article, Portrait 23
Good, bad and the ugly
Michael Desmond explores what makes a portrait subject significant.
Permanent collection catalogue
On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.