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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Sidney Nolan, 1964

Axel Poignant

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 38.0 cm x 28.5 cm, image: 31.0 cm x 21.0 cm)

Sir Sidney Nolan (1917-1992), artist, was one of Australia's most original painters and one of the few to have achieved an international reputation in the twentieth century. Beginning his career as a commercial artist in the 1930s, he mounted his first solo exhibition in 1940. After having served as an army storeman in the Wimmera, he became associated with the modernist art patrons John and Sunday Reed at Heide, Victoria. At Heide between 1945 and 1947 he made the enormously complex Ned Kelly series of paintings for which he is best known. He continued to explore Australian themes and landscapes in paintings of Burke and Wills, Eliza Fraser, Gallipoli and the Eureka rebellion, and in his huge masterpiece Riverbend (1965). Many of his most significant works are housed in Canberra institutions. From 1950 Nolan lived abroad, returning to Australia at regular intervals.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2003

Accession number: 2003.126

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Axel Poignant (age 58 in 1964)

Sidney Nolan (age 47 in 1964)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Artist and wife near Arthurs Seat, 1969
Artist and wife near Arthurs Seat, 1969
Artist and wife near Arthurs Seat, 1969
Artist and wife near Arthurs Seat, 1969

Through blue eyes

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2009

Works by Arthur Boyd and Sidney Nolan bring the desert, the misty seashore and the hot Monaro plains to exhibition Open Air: Portraits in the landscape.

Sidney Nolan, Western Australia, 1962 (printed 2000) David Moore
Sidney Nolan, Western Australia, 1962 (printed 2000) David Moore
Sidney Nolan, Western Australia, 1962 (printed 2000) David Moore
Sidney Nolan, Western Australia, 1962 (printed 2000) David Moore

Cultural kaleidoscope

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2006

The complex connections between four creative Australians; Patrick White, Sidney Nolan, Robert Helpmann and Peter Sculthorpe.

Self portrait, 1988 Sidney Nolan
Self portrait, 1988 Sidney Nolan
Self portrait, 1988 Sidney Nolan
Self portrait, 1988 Sidney Nolan

Self Creation

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2006

Former National Portrait Gallery Director, Andrew Sayers recalls meeting iconic Australian artist Sidney Nolan.

 

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.