An image of The galaxy

Sidney Nolan

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

The galaxy

Not on display
Further information

In 1956, Sidney Nolan travelled to the Dardanelles in Turkey, a place synonymous with the Trojan War and Anzac folklore. Nolan was inspired by his reading of Homer's verse The Illiad and Alan Moorehead's 1955 article 'Return to a legend', which likened the siege of Troy to the Gallipoli landings. These experiences and influences culminated in Nolan's epic 'Gallipoli' series. 'The galaxy' 1957–58 depicts a ghostly march of figures emerging from a vortex of swirling and speckled green paint; an allegorical time warp in which the memories of war and the soldiers who lost their lives reverberate from the past into the present. The imagery expresses the fear of nuclear threat after World War II, recalling the particles of an atom bomb as well as the deep recesses and existential nothingness of space.

Place of origin
London, England
polyvinyl acetate on canvas on composition board
193.0 x 256.0 cm; 197.5 x 260.5 x 6.0 cm frame
Signature & date

Signed l.l., "N". Not dated.

Gift of Patrick White 1974
Accession number
© The Trustees of the Sidney Nolan Trust/DACS. Licensed by Copyright Agency