Articles on Portraiture

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A picture of strength: lifelong activist Bonita Mabo OA in front of her portrait as a young woman, which features in her granddaughter Boneta-Marie Mabo’s first solo exhibition. Josef Ruckli, courtesy of the State Library of Queensland

Black Velvet: redefining and celebrating Indigenous Australian women in art

Boneta-Marie Mabo's art responds to a colonial past in which Aboriginal women were fetishised as "black velvet". But it also celebrates strong women, including her activist grandmother Bonita Mabo.
Why is Whistler’s mother one of the most persistently famous images in the world? James McNeill Whistler, Arrangement in grey and black no. 1 (Portrait of the artist's mother) 1871. Image courtesy of the NGV.

Here’s looking at: ‘Whistler’s Mother’

Whistler's Mother, which arrives in Melbourne on March 25, is one of the most famous portraits in the world. But James Whistler never wanted the sitter's identity known.
Tim Maguire’s portrait of Cate Blanchett is one of the finalists for this year’s Archibald Prize. AGNSW

Populist candy-floss or not, the Archibald Prize soldiers on

The real spectacle of the Archibald Portrait Prize emerges behind the scenes. Each year, the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) loading dock turns into a frenzy of artwork arrivals and departures…

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