Sidney NOLANMOURLOT FRÈRES, not titled [Three policemen and Ned Kelly]. Enlarge 1 /1

Sidney NOLAN

Carlton, Victoria, Australia 1917 – London, England 1992

  • England and Australia from 1950


commenced 1921

print workshop (organisation)

not titled [Three policemen and Ned Kelly]. 1966 Place made: Mourlot Frères, Paris, Île-de-France, Ville de Paris department, France
Materials & Technique: prints, ink; paper lithograph, printed in colour inks, from multiple stones [or plates] Support: paper

Dimensions: printed image 64.8 h x 52.8 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1980
Accession No: NGA 80.3308
Image rights: © Sidney Nolan Trust
  • Purchased by the Ausstralian National Gallery, from Mourlot, Fernand, Paris, March 1980.

Nolan’s Ned Kelly series weaves biography and autobiography together. The paintings take us through the main events of the story of Ned Kelly and his gang — the shooting of police constables at Stringybark Creek, the ensuing police chase, the activities of the police spy Aaron Sherrit, the siege of the hotel at Glenrowan and the trial which ended in a sentence of hanging for Ned Kelly. In 1848 Nolan wrote that the Kelly saga was

‘a story arising out of the bush and ending in the bush’. An understanding of landscape was a motivation: ‘I find the desire to paint the landscape involves a wish to hear more of the stories that take place in the landscape … which persist in the memory, to find expression in such household sayings as ‘game as Ned Kelly’. The landscape is therefore a crucial part of the Kelly paintings; the story gives meaning to the place’.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra