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


Bertram Mackennal



Abbey Alston

England, Australia, United States of America

21 Aug 1866 – 1949

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Media category
    Materials used
    carbon pencil on paper
    17.1 x 12.0 cm sheet
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated l.r., pencil "A. ALTSOn./94.".

    Accessioned 2004
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Abbey Alston

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Abbey (Abraham) Alston was born in Yorkshire, England, came to Australia in 1883 and studied drawing and painting in Melbourne at the National Gallery School. Awarded the school's Travelling Scholarship in 1891, he sailed for Paris where he studied at a number of ateliers including Colarossi's. Altson exhibited a portrait of Mackennal's daughter Henrietta at the Paris Salon and moved to London in 1894. There he worked as an illustrator and also established himself as a painter of portraits. He moved to the USA in 1939.

    Bertram Mackennal (1862-1931), the most distinguished Australian sculptor of his generation, was born in Melbourne and studied at the National Gallery School before leaving for London in 1883. Mackennal was introduced to Rodin by John Russell in Paris, where he also exhibited his best known work, 'Circe', at the salon in 1893. He worked and exhibited in England, France and Australia, was the first Australian artist to be elected to the Royal Academy in London in 1909 and the first to be knighted, in 1921.

    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

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 4 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 10 publications

Other works by Abbey Alston