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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.

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Barry Sullivan

c. 1870
Davies & Co

carte de visite photograph (support: 10.2 cm x 6.3 cm, image: 9.3 cm x 5.9 cm)

Barry Sullivan (1821-1891), English actor, performed on the Melbourne stage between 1862 and 1866. As a teenager, he joined a strolling company and by 1837 he was in Cork, appearing in Shakespearean plays featuring Charles Kean, the great actor of his day. By 1844 Sullivan was taking leading parts in Scotland, and in 1852 he played Hamlet at the Haymarket, London. After eighteen months in the USA, he arrived in Melbourne in mid-1862 to play Hamlet at the Theatre Royal. Playing Richelieu, Richard III, Macbeth, and Othello and Iago alternately, he proceeded to Sydney but returned to Melbourne to take on the management of the Theatre Royal after William Lyster finished his season. Although Charles Kean himself was appearing at the Haymarket from late 1863, Sullivan retained his popularity until he left Melbourne in February 1866, warmly farewelled by leading citizens who praised his ‘genius, application, assiduity, energy, and everything else which went to make a great actor’. Followed closely in the Melbourne press, his theatrical career continued in London, North America, Dublin, Cork, Liverpool and Manchester until he made his last appearance as Richard III in Liverpool in 1887. Following a stroke in 1888, he languished for three years before his death in May 1891, which was marked by fond obituaries in the Melbourne papers.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2018

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Davies & Co

Barry Sullivan (age 49 in 1870)

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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.

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