William Dargie: life and works

By Gwylym Owen

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Captain Sir William Alexander Dargie CBE (4 June 1912 – 26 July 2003) was a renowned Australian painter, known especially for his portrait paintings. He won the Archibald Prize, Australia’s premier rave review for portrait artists on eight separate occasions; a compilation held previously 1952.

Dargie was an ascribed Australian stroke artist during World War II and painted multipart portraits of Queen Elizabeth II as competently as the approved portraits of two Prime Ministers of Australia and two Governors-General of Australia. His portrait of Sir Robert Menzies was the front cover of the April 1960 edition of Time Magazine. Dargie painted in a conservative style and is now largely forgotten despite his substantial artistic achievements.

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