Historical information

This is a portrait of Sir William Irvine, not in his judical robes, but those of Lt Governor of the State of Victoria. Irvine was a member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly from 1894 to 1904, as well as Attorney-General , he was later Premier. Retiring from state politics after a particularly bruising encounter with the Railway Unions, he entered federal politics as the member for Flinders. He became Federal Attorney General in the period 1913-1914. During World War One Irvine campaigned strongly for the introduction of the complusory military service (conscription) until being elevated to the bench in 1918. With his appointment as Chief Justice, he became a lieutenant governor in 1919, and was acting Governor for the state of Victoria for a period of nearly 3 years in the early 1930s.


The painting is of interest for its subject (Irvine) and the artist who painted it, 5 times Archibald winner Sir John Longstaff.

Physical description

3/4 length portrait in oils of Sir William Irvine. Irvine is standing his finger resting on the deak. He is in Vice-Regal clothing, a black suit with plenty of gold braid.

Inscriptions & markings

Signed and dated 1934 upper right corner