Portrait Detective Timeline

200 years in 100 images

Below you’ll find a chronological line-up of images of Australians from 1788 to 1955. Each has been selected because its date and provenance is known.

Scroll through the timeline to see at a glance how portraiture, dress, art and personal grooming has changed and evolved throughout Australia’s history.

Click on an individual image to learn more about:

  • the subject
  • the artist or photographer who created it
  • the provenance
  • the medium
  • background details, and more.


How to use our timeline

Scroll slowly to give images time to load.

Click on images to read detailed content, download and use our zoom tool.