'It is black, ochre, dark green and blue, with an oyster coloured sky and an indigo sea. The colours appear as if under intense moonlight'.
Sidney Nolan 1965
Nolan's trip to Antarctica with his friend Alan Moorehead lasted only eight days in January 1964 but was enough for Nolan to later produce a large number of paintings on the theme. He worked incredibly fast, producing no less than 18 works between August 28 and 30 alone, helped by a quick-drying alkyd gel used as a substitute for linseed oil and turpentine; and sometimes using the scraping back technique of his Leda pictures. His adoption of oil paint (as opposed to the enamels and polyvinyl acetate of previous years) lends great translucence and fluidity to these romantically charged works.
Mount Erebus, Antarctica
Mt. Erebus, Antarctica
oil on hardboard
122.0 x 123.0 cm board; 131.8 x 131.8 x 3.9 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r.corner, pencil "28 Aug 1964 Nolan -".
Sidney Nolan Deaccession Fund 2011
Not on display
© The Trustees of the Sidney Nolan Trust/Bridgeman Art Library
Shown in 8 exhibitions
Sidney Nolan (January 1965), Marlborough-Gerson Gallery Inc, New York, Jan 1965 -
Sidney Nolan retrospective exhibition. Paintings from 1937 to 1967:
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 13 Sep 1967–29 Oct 1967
- National Gallery of Victoria [Swanston Street], Melbourne 22 Nov 1967–17 Dec 1967
- Western Australian Art Gallery, Perth 09 Jan 1968–04 Feb 1968
Sidney Nolan: Antarctica (1984), Fermoy Art Gallery, King's Lynn, 08 Aug 1984–01 Sep 1984
Sir Sidney Nolan: a retrospective celebrating his 75th birthday (1992), The Terrace Gallery, Harewood, 19 Jul 1992–31 Oct 1992
Sidney Nolan: Antarctic journey (2006-2007), Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Mornington, 29 Nov 2006–25 Feb 2007
Sidney Nolan (2007-2008):
Sidney Nolan: Antarctica (2010), The Polar Museum [part of Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge], Cambridge, 29 Sep 2010–18 Dec 2010
Antarctica, Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra, 24 May 2012–01 Jul 2012
Referenced in 11 publications
James Gleeson., Sun-Herald, 'Art on ice', Sydney, circa Feb 1965.
John Henshaw., The Australian, 'Evolution of an artist', Sydney, 16 Sep 1967.
Rodney James, Sidney Nolan: Antarctic journey, 'Desert of ice', pg. 2-67, Mornington, 2006, 18, 20, 22, 24 (colour illus.), 72 (colour illus.). cat.no. 12
Robert Melville, Sidney Nolan, 'The poetry of painting', pg. 5-8, New York, Jan 1965, (illus.). cat.no. 8; titled 'Mount Erebus'
Hal Missingham, Sidney Nolan. Retrospective exhibition. Paintings from 1937 to 1967, Sydney, 1967. cat.no. 129; titled 'Mount Erebus, Antarctica'
Alan Moorehead., Sidney Nolan: Antarctica, 'Introduction', England, 1984, (illus.). cat.no. 17; titled 'Mt. Erebus'
Barry Pearce, Frances Lindsay, Lou Klepac and Edmund Capon, Sidney Nolan, Sydney, 2007, 54, 55, 193 (colour illus.), 238. cat.no. 95; titled 'Mt Erebus'
Anthony Plant and Heather Lane, Sidney Nolan: Antarctica, 'Sir Sidney Nolan (1917-1992)', pg. 5-6, Cambridge, 2010, 18 (colour illus.). titled 'Mount Erebus'
Daniel Thomas, The Sydney Morning Herald, 'The poetic themes of Sidney Nolan', pg. 15, Sydney, 09 Sep 1967, 15 (illus.). titled 'Mount Erebus, Antarctica'
Nicholas Usherwood, Sir Sidney Nolan: a retrospective celebrating his 75th birthday, 'Sir Sidney Nolan', pg. 4-10, Harewood, 1992, 5 (colour illus.), 8, 10. titled 'Mt. Erebus, Antarctica'
Natalie Wilson., Foundation Newsletter #18, 'Curators & Coordinators' reports', Sydney, Jun 2011, (colour illus.).