John Longstaff

John Longstaff

Sir John Campbell Longstaff (10 March 18611 October 1941) was an Australian painter, war artist and a five-time winner of the Archibald Prize. He was a cousin of Will Longstaff, also a painter.

Longstaff was born at Clunes, Victoria, second son of Ralph Longstaff, storekeeper. John was educated at a boarding school in Miners Rest and Clunes State Schooland. He later studied at the Melbourne National Gallery School, after his father initially disapproved of his artistic ambitions. cite web | title = Longstaff, Sir John | url= | editor= Percival Serle | accessdate=2007-07-12 |work=Dictionary of Australian Biography |publisher=Angus and Robertson, Sydney |year=1949] . Longstaff's talent was recognised by George Folingsby. In 1887 he won a competition with a picture titled "Breaking the News". He won the National Gallery of Victoria's first travelling scholarship, and went to Europe. He travelled to Paris, where he exhibited in the Paris Salon. He later moved to London, where he painted many portraits. He returned to Australia in 1894 and was given several commissions. He occupied a studio at Grosvenor chambers in Melbourne from 1897 - 1900. The National Gallery of Victoria assumed ownership of "The Sirens" under terms of the scholarship and bought his large landscape "Gippsland, Sunday night, February 20, 1898". He travelled to London again in 1901, where he exhibited with the Royal Academy.

Longstaff was appointed an official war artist with the Australian Infantry Force in the First World War. He made several portraits of officers in the military. On his return to Australia he won several awards and was given distinguished positions, such as his appointment to President of the Victorian Artists Society in 1924 and Trustee of the National Gallery of Victoria in 1927. He was knighted in 1928, the first Australian artist to have had this honour.

His Archibald Prize winning pieces:

*1925 - "Portrait of Maurice Moscovitch"
*1928 - "Portrait of Dr Alexander Leeper"
*1929 - "W A Holman, KC"
*1931 - "Sir John Sulman"
*1935 - "A B ('Banjo') Paterson"


*Leigh Astbury, [ 'Longstaff, Sir John Campbell (1861 - 1941)'] , Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 10, MUP, 1986, pp 141-142.

External links

* [ John Longstaff] at Artcyclopedia
* [ LONGSTAFF, Sir John] at the Australian War Memorial

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