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Australian art

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Portrait of Patrick White



Louis Kahan

Australia, Austria

05 May 1905 - 16 Jul 2002


The subject of the 1962 Archibald winning portrait, Patrick White, was one of Australia's most respected but reclusive authors. Louis Kahan told the 'Sun' newspaper of 18 January 1963 that he had painted the portrait from sketches made at Patrick White's home eight months previously for an illustration for a series on Australian writers in 'Meanjin', a literary journal. The Gallery purchased Kahan's portrait in 1963.

Peter Ross, 'Let's Face It: The history of the Archibald Prize' 2005, pg. 142.




Media category


Materials used

oil, synthetic polymer paint on hardboard


122.0 x 91.5 cm board; 140.5 x 110.5 x 6.0 cm frame

Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r., oil "Louis Kahan 62".


Purchased 1963


Not on display

Accession number


Archibald Prize

Winner - 1962

Artist information

Louis Kahan

Works in the collection


Shown in 8 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 19 publications


C Christesen (Editor), Meanjin, Carlton, Jan 1963, 113 (colour illus.).

Lesley Harding, Louis Kahan: drawing on life, Horsham, 2005, 8 (colour illus.), 22. 6

Anna Waldmann, The Archibald Prize: an illustrated history 1921-1981, Sydney, 1981, 231 (colour illus.).

Susan Hunt, The Archibald Prize 1921-1993, Sydney, 1993, 19 (colour illus.).

Hal Missingham (Editor), Art Gallery of New South Wales Quarterly, vol 4, no 3, Sydney, Apr 1963, (illus.).

National Portrait Gallery [Old Parliament House], Australia and the Nobel Prize, Canberra, 2003, 16. Exhibition checklist

Peter Ross, Let's face it: the history of the Archibald Prize, 'The Postwar Years', pg. 40-62, Sydney, 1999, 58 (colour illus.), 132 (colour illus.).

Peter Ross, Let's face it: the history of the Archibald Prize, ‘Chapter 3: The postwar years’, pg. 38-60, Sydney, 2005, 55 (colour illus.), 142 (colour illus.).

Keith Sinclair (Editor), Age, Melbourne, 19 Jan 1963, (illus.).

Tom Thompson, Look, 'Celebrity vs cultural significance', pg. 33-35, Sydney, Feb 2007, 34 (colour illus.).

Anna Waldmann, Art and Australia (Vol. 20, No. 2), 'The Archibald Prize', pg. 213-236, Sydney, Summer 1982, 231 (colour illus.).

Author Unknown, Sunday telegraph, Sydney, 20 Jan 1963.

Unknown (Editor), Sun-Herald, Sydney, 20 Jan 1963.

Editor Unknown (Editor), Daily telegraph and daily news, Sydney, 19 Jan 1963, (illus.).

Unknown (Editor), Sun-Herald, Sydney, 18 Jan 1963, (illus.).

Editor Unknown (Editor), Daily Mirror, Sydney, 18 Jan 1963, (illus.).

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, 19 Jan 1963, (illus.).

Editor Unknown (Editor), Bulletin, Sydney, 02 Feb 1963.

Editor Unknown (Editor), Sunday Mirror, Sydney, 20 Jan 1963, (illus.).