Colour Sergeant Milton

Place Oceania: Australia, New South Wales, Newcastle
Accession Number ART91170
Collection type Art
Measurement Overall: 122.2 x 91.8 cm; Framed: 138.5 cm x 108.5 cm x 7.5 cm
Object type Painting
Physical description oil on canvas
Location Main Bld: Soldiers of the Queen Gallery: Corridor: Navy
Maker Reay, William
Place made Australia: New South Wales, Newcastle, Australia: New South Wales, Newcastle
Date made 1888

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


When Colour Sergeant William Henry Milton resigned from the Volunteers after 20 years of service his fellow soldiers presented him with a life size portrait of himself. Sergeant Milton resplendent in his red uniform of the 4th Regiment, New South Wales Volunteer Infantry, confidently engages the viewer. 'William Reay did not smooth his features, or direct his noble gaze into the distance, as he might have done with a general. Instead, he created a strong portrait of an ordinary man, probably as he wished to be seen. This painting recorded a significant moment in Milton's life, and, obliquely, the social position he occupied. To be depicted otherwise, perhaps as a gentleman, would have been a wholly inappropriate attempt at social elevation.' Richard Neville