Dionysius Boucicault Jnr (1859–1929), actor, came to Australia in 1885 with his father, also named Dionysius, who was a famous playwright and actor. The older Boucicault left the country after triumphant seasons in Melbourne and Sydney, but ‘Dot’ Boucicault stayed on, to thrill audiences with his portrayal of villains. In 1886 he and his sister Nina joined Robert Brough to form the Brough and Boucicault Comedy Company, ushering in a golden age of Australian theatre. The company made its bases in Melbourne’s Bijou Theatre and Sydney’s Criterion, but when the Bijou burned down in 1889, Boucicault lost his large private collection of costumes. After that, although audiences still loved him, he lost interest in the company and in 1896, having toured for three years, he retired exhausted to London. He came back to Australia in 1923 and made a final tour in 1927.
Accession number: LOAN2008.27
More about the artist and subject
Magazine article, Portrait 42
Sarah Engledow is seduced by the portraits and the connections between the artists and their subjects in the exhibition Impressions: Painting light and life.
Painting light and life
Impressions: Painting light and life presents portraits by, and of, artists at the heart of Australian impressionism including Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton and Frederick McCubbin.
Magazine article, Portrait 29
An actress and her fans
Dr. Sarah Engledow discovers the amazing life of Ms. Hilda Spong, little remembered star of the stage, who was captured in a portrait by Tom Roberts.
Magazine article, Portrait 9
This edited version of a speech by Andrew Sayers examines some of the antecedents of the National Portrait Gallery and set out the ideas behind the modern Gallery and its collection.
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.