Premiers' Portraits collection

  Posthumous portrait of Sir Alexander Peacock (Premier 1901-02, 1914-17, 1924) and artist Yvette Coppersmith

Posthumous portrait of Sir Alexander Peacock (Premier 1901-02, 1914-17, 1924) and artist Yvette Coppersmith

 
 

The Parliament of Victoria’s historic Premiers' Portraits collection has a new addition – the portrait of Sir Alexander Peacock (Premier 1901-02, 1914-17, 1924).

Yvette Coppersmith was the artist commissioned to paint this posthumous portrait. Ms Coppersmith is the winner of the 2018 Archibald Prize.

Every Premier since 1933 (with the exception of Ian MacFarlan, who was Premier for 51 days) is represented in the collection. Prior to this, there were only four Premier portraits. It is now tradition to commission a painting of each Premier at the end of their parliamentary term.

Currently there are 19 portraits, leaving 28 unrepresented Premiers. In 2017, the Parliamentary Library commissioned four posthumous portraits that provide important additions to Parliament's existing collection. Along with the portrait of Sir Alexander Peacock, the other new portraits will be of:

  • Sir William Murray McPherson (Premier 1928-1929) by Kristin Headlam

  • Edmond John Hogan (Premier 1927-28, 1929-1932) by Charles Green & Lyndell Brown (a collaboration)

  • Sir Thomas Bent (Premier 1904-09) by Andrew Mezei.

The commissioned artists are highly regarded in the field of portraiture. They have exhibited extensively and are represented in significant collections across the country.

A formal unveiling of the portraits will take place towards the end of 2019 when building works in the corridors and other parts of Parliament House have been completed. The portraits will take pride of place in Queen's Hall and Premiers' Corridor alongside their fellow Premiers.