Portraits Of Victoria Cross Winner Ben Roberts-Smith Have Just Been Unveiled At The Australian War Memorial

Portrait of Ben Roberts-Smith, oil on canvas, by Michael Zavros

Two portraits of Victoria Cross recipient Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith have been added to the Australian War Memorial’s collection.

The portraits were painted by renowned Australian artist Michael Zavros. They represent two different views of Roberts-Smith: one in his formal uniform, the other in combat stance.

Zavros says the portraits are contrasting views – one small and static, the other larger than life and dynamic.

Michael Zavros working on the painting.

“In the small formal portrait we see him momentarily isolated, less the brave war hero, at one with himself in a moment of reflection,” he says.

“By contrast, the larger work offers a moment of tense action, suspended.”

The Australian War Memorial commissioned Michael Zavros to create Roberts-Smith’s portrait because of the artist’s contemporary style and sustained focus on men as a theme.

Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith was awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia while operating in Afghanistan. On his fifth tour of Afghanistan Roberts-Smith, who already held the Medal for Gallantry, received the Victoria Cross for his actions during an assault on the village of Tizak in Kandahar province in June 2010.

The portraits will be on display in the Memorial’s Courtyard Gallery for a limited time.

Roberts-Smith’s medals and uniform are also on display in the Memorial’s Hall of Valour.

Pistol grip, oil on canvas, by Michael Zavros

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