Derek Denton portrait added to Canberra collection

October 16 / 187

Portrait of Emeritus Professor Derek Denton, by Evert Ploeg
Portrait of Emeritus Professor Derek Denton, by Evert Ploeg

A new portrait of leading Australian scientist and Derek Denton – Emeritus Professor of the University – has recently been unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra.

The work by Evert Ploeg was commissioned with funds from the Gallery’s Foundation, and is a landmark addition to the national collection, celebrating the point at which science and art intersect.

Mr Ploeg says he was inspired by Professor Denton’s commitment to and passion for science, and therefore chose to depict him “immersed in his world”.

The portrait places Denton behind a sheet of perspex on which the audience can see diagrams, notes, formulae and illustrations.

NPG Director Angus Trumble said the Gallery was extraordinarily grateful for the generosity of donors who made the commission possible. 

“It is only fitting that a great mind such as Professor Denton’s should be made forever accessible in the Collection via portraiture,” he said.

Professor Denton is an internationally celebrated research physiologist whose work has focussed on the subject of consciousness in evolution.

Artist Evert Ploeg has painted several portraits represented in the Gallery’s collection, including the much-loved portraits of actor Deborah Mailman, art collector and philanthropist John Schaeffer, and astronaut Paul Scully-Power.

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