Sidney NOLAN, Siege at Glenrowan Enlarge 1 /1

On display on Level 1

Sidney NOLAN

Carlton, Victoria, Australia 1917 – London, England 1992

  • England and Australia from 1950

Siege at Glenrowan 1946
Collection Title: Ned Kelly Series
Title Notes: 24
Materials & Technique: paintings, enamel paint on composition board

Primary Insc: not signed, dated reverse u.r., chalk "Nov 1946"
Dimensions: 121.2 h x 90.3 w cm
Acknowledgement: Gift of Sunday Reed 1977
Accession No: NGA 76.296

At about eight o’clock in the morning a heart-rending wail of grief ascended from the hotel. The voice was easily distinguished as that of Mrs Jones, the landlady. Mrs Jones was lamenting the fate of her son, who had been shot in the back by the police, as she supposed fatally. She came out of the hotel crying bitterly and wandered into the bush on several occasions, etc. Historical record

These [Burning at Glenrowan and Siege at Glenrowan] were once joined together and I had Mrs Reardon and her baby still fleeing for their lives. It was once six feet by four, but late one night, Jack Bellew, a journalist, said, ‘Look Sid, that painting is too bloody big, cut it in two.’ I told him to leave it alone, but to prove it was not too big, I would cut it in two. You see I come from a long line of Irishmen. So I cut it and looked at them separated and together, and they looked better together. Unfortunately I parted them forever. Sidney Nolan

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

At about eight o'clock in the morning a heart-rending wail of grief ascended from the hotel. The voice was easily distinguished as that of Mrs Jones, the landlady. Mrs Jones was lamenting the fate of her son, who had been shot in the back by the police, as she supposed fatally. She came out of the hotel crying bitterly and wandered into the bush on several occasions, etc.

These ['Burning at Glenrowan' and 'Siege at Glenrowan1 were once joined together and I had Mrs Reardon and her baby still fleeing for their lives. It was once six feet by four, but late one night, Jack Bellew, a journalist, said, 'Look Sid, that painting is too bloody big, cut it in two.' I told him to leave it alone, but to prove it was not too big, I would cut it in two. You see I come from a long line of Irishmen. So I cut it and looked at them separated and together, and they looked better together. Unfortunately I parted them forever.


Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra