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The Archibald Prize goes to...

Archibald Prize 2016 winner Barry Humphries by Louise Hearman
Archibald Prize 2016 winner Barry Humphries by Louise Hearman

The winner of the 2016 Archibald Prize is first-time finalist Louise Hearman, for her portrait of iconic Australian performer Barry Humphries.

It's not the first time Humphries has been hung as part of the Archibald Prize exhibition:
1969: John Brack painted him in character as Mrs Edna Everage.
1976: Charles Billich painted Humphries as Humphries.
2014: Tim Storrier painted him in character as Sir Leslie Colin Patterson KCB AO.
AND Rodney Pople painted him in character for his 2013 Weimar cabaret performances in Sydney.

Highly commended mentions went to 2016 finalists Natasha Bieniek, Lewis Miller, Nick Stathopoulos, Imants Tillers, and Marcus Wills.

It seems apt that a woman wins the prize in a year in which the Archibald Prize reached gender parity in the finalists pool for the first time in its 95 year history. 

In other good news for the ladies, this year's Sulman Prize has been awarded to Esther Stewart for her work 'Flatland dreaming'; and the Wynne Prize has been awarded to the Ken Family Collaborative for their work 'Seven sisters'.

The Archibald Prize exhibition opens on Saturday July 16. 

Check out the best art in Sydney in July.