The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, September 22, 2019

Sidney Nolan's man behind Ned Kelly mask revealed
Sidney Nolan, Ned Kelly: 'Nobody knows anything about my case but myself' 1945, ripolin enamel on cardboard, 63 x 75 cm. Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne. Purchased with funds provided by the Friends of Heide and the Heide Circle of Donors 1998.

MELBOURNE.- In the year of Sidney Nolan’s centenary, Australian Synchrotron technology provides insight into the development of the iconic Ned Kelly figure, which would define Nolan’s acclaimed series.

Working in collaboration with the scientific research centre Australian Synchrotron, and utilising its state of the art technology, art conservators have imaged pigments buried underneath layers of paint to reveal a face behind the mask of Sidney Nolan’s painting Ned Kelly, “Nobody knows anything about my case but myself” 1945.

When examining the painting in 2012, Paula Dredge, Paintings Conservator at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, and Kendrah Morgan, Curator at Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne noticed brush strokes underneath the mask of the Kelly helmet. “As this work is one of the first times Nolan painted Kelly, we thought the paint below the helmet might provide insight into his development of this iconic figure,” Dredge said.

Dredge and Morgan contacted Australian Synchrotron, part of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, and the painting was analysed using an X-ray fluorescence beamline which identified elements to the resolution of the finest brush stroke. With powerful processing, previously invisible layers of colour were revealed to show a face beneath the helmet.

“A curious array of blue, yellow and red dots were also visible across the painting and strangely Nolan turned the painting upside down before obscuring the face with Kelly’s black helmet,” Morgan said.

Is the face Nolan’s or Kelly’s? The dots provide a clue. In 1943, while in the Australian Army, Nolan painted Self portrait, (Ripolin enamel on hessian sacking, Art Gallery of NSW), in which he wears strips of blue, yellow and red across his forehead, suggesting an artist’s war paint. By 1945 he had absconded from the Army and was hiding from the authorities. Nolan’s identification with Australia’s best known outlaw is suggested by the title of the work, in Kelly’s own words, and the portrait under the mask. 

From April 22 to May 14 2017, visitors can view the face behind the mask as part of a virtual reality display created by Andrew Yip and iGLAM at the University of New South Wales. It will be presented in the library of Heide I, the original home of John and Sunday Reed. Both Ned Kelly, “Nobody knows anything about my case but myself” (1945) and Kelly at the Mine (1946-47) will be displayed alongside a selection of Nolan memorabilia in commemoration of the centenary of Sidney Nolan’s birth.

Today's News

April 5, 2017

Michelangelo crucifix gets pride of place at the Santo Spirito basilica in Florence

Exhibition celebrates the centennial of Marcel Duchamp's legendary "readymade" Fountain

'Pink Star' diamond fetches record $71.2 mn in Hong Kong

One of the greatest works by J.M.W. Turner still in private hands to be sold at Sotheby's

Melania Trump's new portrait divides public opinion

Matisse masterpiece leads Bonhams Impressionist and Modern Art Sale in New York

Sidney Nolan's man behind Ned Kelly mask revealed

Christie's New York announces highlights from its Spring Sale of Prints & Multiples

Hauser & Wirth announces worldwide representation of Lorna Simpson

Three early works by Lucian Freud on new long-term loan to Pallant House Gallery

Dutch clog-makers hoping to put a stamp on the future

Eskenazi Museum unveils design plans for transformative renovation

Science Museum opens exhibition dedicated to first woman in space

Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza opens major Rafael Moneo retrospective

Stunning set of four J&R Lamb Studios stained glass windows will be sold at Fontaine's

Cecilia Hillström Gallery opens Linnea Rygaard's first solo exhibition at the gallery

George Washington and The Founding Fathers featured in May 13 Heritage Americana Auction

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt announces contest for a new peace logo

Exhibition at the Albertina celebrates Eduard Angeli's 75th birthday

Exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York showcases artistry of wartime propaganda

Cincinnati Art Museum adds expertise and vibrancy with three new curators

Peter Sacks' first solo exhibition at Marlborough Gallery opens in New York

Estorick Collection hosts a major exhibition by Giacomo Balla

State Museum adds new artwork to contemporary Native American art collection

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Holocaust 'masterpiece' causes uproar at Venice film festival

2.- To be unveiled at Sotheby's: One of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled

3.- Bender Gallery features paintings by up and coming Chicago artist Michael Hedges

4.- Lévy Gorvy exhibits new and historic works by French master in his centenary year

5.- Artificial Intelligence as good as Mahler? Austrian orchestra performs symphony with twist

6.- Fascinating new exhibition explores enduring artistic bond between Scotland and Italy

7.- Exhibition explores the process of Japanese-style woodblock production

8.- Robert Frank, photographer of America's underbelly, dead at 94

9.- The truth behind the legend of patriot Paul Revere revealed in a new exhibition at New-York Historical Society

10.- Hitler bust found in cellar of French Senate

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful