Ancestral portrait of Quong Tart's motherc 1888

by by unknown artist

Mei Quong Tart was a well-known Sydney identity. He came from China to the goldfields near Braidwood as a child, and built a prosperous life as a merchant and businessman. This portrait of Quong’s mother is in the style of a Chinese ancestral portrait for the period. She is seated, dressed in traditional costume with her embroidered rank badge.

Ancestral portraits were often painted posthumously and hung in a family temple or altar to be venerated on important anniversaries. Quong Tart is said to have returned from a visit to China in 1888 with portraits of his mother and father, which he displayed in his Ashfield home, Gallop House.