An image of Henry Lawson

John Longstaff

(Australia 1862 – 01 Oct 1941)

Henry Lawson

Location
19th c Australian art
Further information

By the 1890s, Henry Lawson had established his reputation as a short story writer and poet with 'The drover’s wife' and 'Up the country'. His writing in The Bulletin helped create the image of the Australian bushman as the epitome of egalitarian and national ideals.

This portrait of Lawson was commissioned in 1900 by JF Archibald, editor of The Bulletin. It was painted in Melbourne shortly before Lawson’s departure for England. Working rapidly, Longstaff captured the poet’s characteristic expression. The finished portrait delighted Archibald and prompted him to establish the Archibald Prize, the non-acquisitive annual portraiture prize first awarded in 1921.

Year
1900
Media
Painting
Medium
oil on canvas
Dimensions
91.5 x 72.0 cm stretcher; 110.0 x 89.7 x 6.5 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed c.r. on shoulder, red oil "J Longstaff". Dated u.r., brown oil ".../ 1900".
Credit
Purchased 1901
Accession number
4829