We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Sir Henry Parkes



Phil May

England, Australia

27 Apr 1864 - 05 Aug 1903

  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    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".

    Purchased 1919
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Phil May

    Works in the collection


  • About

    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

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 4 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 4 publications

Other works by Phil May

See more works