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Gillard delighted with choice of official portrait artist - he'll have plenty to work with

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Gillard delighted with her portrait artist

Award-winning artist Vincent Fantauzzo will paint the official portrait of Australia's first female prime minister.

A celebrated artist, best known for his images of Hollywood figures Health Ledger and Baz Luhrmann, has been selected to paint the official portrait of Julia Gillard.

It's a decision welcomed by Australia's first female prime minister.

"Vincent Fantauzzo's portraits of indigenous Australian artists moved me beyond words," she tweeted on Friday following an announcement by the Department of Parliamentary Services.

The Melbourne-based artist has won the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, the Archibald Packing Room Prize and the people's choice award four times, including for his haunting 2008 entry of actor Health Ledger painted just weeks before the actor's death.

Ms Gillard says she is delighted Fantauzzo is painting her portrait.

It will be Fantauzzo's first commission for the Historic Memorials Collection.

Founded by Prime Minister Andrew Fisher in 1911, the collection has commissioned portraits of the head of state, governors-general, prime ministers, Speakers and Senate presidents.


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