Faceless man wins Australia's top portraiture prize

Australian artist Tim Storrier stands beside his painting 'The Histrionic Wayfarer (after Bosch)' after winning the 91st Archibald Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW in Sydney, on March 30. The Archibald Prize is one of Australia’s oldest and most prestigious art prizes

A painting of a faceless man by Tim Storrier won Australia's most prestigious portraiture prize, the Archibald, along with a cheque for Aus$75,000 (US$78,000).

The work, entitled "The Histrionic Wayfarer (After Bosch)", features a pith-helmeted figure carrying a backpack with his dog Smudge perched on top. The figure has glasses but no face.

Storrier, who beat 40 other finalists, on Friday said it was a self-portrait.

"It is based on a painting by Hieronymus Bosch, called the Wayfarer, painted in 1510 where the figure is believed to be choosing a path or possibly the prodigal son returning," he said.

"It is a journey through the landscape of the artist's mind, accompanied by Smudge, the critic and guide of the whole enterprise."

Smudge was present at the awards ceremony in Sydney.

The Archibald Prize was first awarded in 1921. It is administered by the Art Gallery of New South Wales.