One of the best remembered of Australia's early politicians, Sir Henry Parkes (1815-96) was premier of New South Wales for the first of five occasions in 1872. He supported the causes of liberalism and anti-transportation, was party to ensuring free, secular and compulsory education in New South Wales and is known as the 'Father of Federation' for the key role he played in the Federation conventions of the early 1890s. He was not admired by everyone however – 'The bulletin' on 2 May 1896 described him as having '... the art of seeming great, yet no one could really remember, even at the zenith of his career, that he ever did anything in particular to deserve his reputation.'
excerpt from Hendrik Kolenberg, Anne Ryan and Patricia James, '19th century Australian watercolours, drawings & pastels in the Gallery's collection', Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2005
pencil, watercolour, black and white gouache, gum on grey-green paper
23.0 x 17.7 cm sheet
Signature & date
Signed l.r., pencil "PHIL MAY". Not dated.
Signed u.r., pencil ".../ .../ Phil May".
Not on display
Shown in 5 exhibitions
150 years of Australian art (1938), National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 Jan 1938–25 Apr 1938
Australian images: Prints, drawings and watercolours from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 22 Dec 1979–28 Jan 1980
Some Australian drawings 1880-1980, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 16 May 1981–18 Jun 1981
Fin de Siècle: posters prints drawings from the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 Jan 1994–13 Mar 1994
19th century Australian watercolours, drawings & pastels, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Apr 2005–24 Jul 2005
Referenced in 4 publications
Jane de Teliga, Australian images: Prints, drawings and watercolours from the collection, Sydney, 1979, 7.
Renée Free, Fin de Siècle, Sydney, Jan 1994. no catalogue numbers
Hendrik Kolenberg, 19th century Australian watercolours, drawing and pastels from the Gallery's collection, 'Introduction', pg. 6-16, Sydney, 2005, 15, 81 (colour illus.).
Lionel Lindsay, 150 years of Australian art, Sydney, 1938. cat.no. 500