• The 1920s print of the original painting discovered by Andrew McIntosh on Ebay in Germany. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
The discovery of a portrait of an Indigenous digger has triggered a global search for the original painting and the hope that the mystery man's identity will ultimately be revealed.
By
NITV News

31 May 2017 - 4:19 PM  UPDATED 31 May 2017 - 4:29 PM

The discovery of a previous lost portrait of an Aboriginal digger has triggered a frantic search for the original painting.

Andrew McIntosh from the Victorian Aboriginal Remembrance Committee discovered a print of the painting on German Ebay. It will go on display at the Victorian Aboriginal Remembrance Service in Melbourne today. 

"When people see it, you can look into the eyes of that man and see that he's been through trauma," Mr McIntosh told ABC news.

The painting is by German artist Thomas Baumgartner and was made during 1915 at a German POW camp.

Baumgartner was born in 1982 and painted a number of pictures of foreign prisoners held during the war. 

He painted many pictures of foreign soldiers including from Asia and Africa who served as colonial soldiers during the war. He died in 1962. In recent years works have sold for thousands of dollars.

There are estimated to have been at least 1000 Indigenous Australian soldiers involved in World War 1.

Mr McIntosh told the ABC he was determined to find the original painting, and if possible, the soldiers true identity.

"The Germans were not only painting these prisoners of war, they were also recording their voices, the dialects of the world," Mr McIntosh said.

"They were taking all these different measurements, trying to classify the peoples of the world and document people who had been captured and held."