An image of Hare in trap

Sidney Nolan

(Australia, England 22 Apr 1917 – 28 Nov 1992)

Hare in trap

Other titles:
Hare in a trap
Not on display
Further information

'Hare in trap' was painted between Sidney Nolan’s iconic Wimmera landscapes and St Kilda paintings of 1940–45, and the first Ned Kelly series 1946–47. To varying degrees it reflects the growing sense of unease Nolan experienced while staying at the home of Melbourne patrons John and Sunday Reed, and the anxiety caused by his desertion from the army in 1944.

With its startling blue eye conveying fear, pain and a desperate struggle for freedom, 'Hare in trap' is powerfully autobiographical. Nolan himself suggested that the hare’s eyes relate to an incident during a car trip to northern Victoria, when the painter and his father came across a hare caught in a trap – the resultant look in his father’s blue eyes struck Nolan vividly. This beautiful, enigmatic painting, which can be read as a self-portrait, is revered universally by scholars and Nolan’s admirers as one of his finest masterpieces.

Ripolin enamel on hardboard
90.5 x 121.5 cm board
Signature & date

Not signed. Dated l.r., "Sept 15th 46".

Purchased with funds provided by the Nelson Meers Foundation, the Margaret Hannah Olley Art Trust, and the Art Gallery of New South Wales Foundation 2007
Accession number
© The Trustees of the Sidney Nolan Trust/Bridgeman Art Library