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Australian art

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Sidney Nolan

Australia, England

22 Apr 1917 - 28 Nov 1992


'Robbed' was created at a key moment in Sidney Nolan's early career. Dating from the artist's important 1946-47 Ned Kelly series, it is one of several paintings that were edited out of the final core of works chosen to represent the Kelly narrative.

Painted when a more lyrical mood had evolved in the series, 'Robbed' is bathed in a soft light, evoking a dreamlike quality - a portent of perhaps of impending violence. The naked figures may be humiliated police, stripped of their uniforms and their horses stolen - possibly the two whom the Kelly gang ambushed at Jerilderie. Alternatively, 'Robbed' may be loosely based on earlier incidents in Kelly's career and intended for the beginning of the series, to portray the germination of the bushranger's notoriety.




Media category


Materials used

Ripolin enamel on hardboard


91.5 x 122.0 cm board; 102.0 x 132.2 x 2.0 cm frame

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Purchased with funds provided by the Nelson Meers Foundation 2004


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Sidney Nolan

Artist profile

Works in the collection


Shown in 9 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 36 publications


Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales Annual Report 2004, Sydney, 2004, 19 (colour illus.).

Christie's London, Topographical pictures, London, 1995, 142 (illus.), 143. lot no. 152, 'Robbed', 1947, ripolin enamel on board, sold by order of The Trustees of S.C. Mason, deceased

Kenneth Clark, Sidney Nolan: retrospective exhibition, 'Introduction', pg. 5-7, Dublin, 1973, 15. 20, 'Robbed', 1947, ripolin, 36 x 47½in/ 91 x 121cm

Sir Kenneth Clark, Sidney Nolan, Folkestone, 1970. 17; titled 'Robbed', 1947, 36" x 48", ripolin, Private collection

Sir Kenneth Clark and Artur Lundkvist, Sidney Nolan, 'Introduktion' av Kenneth Clark, pg. 6-7, Stockholm, 1976. 18, 'Robbed', 1947, Rånade, 91 x 122, Tillhör Mrs C Nolan

Michael Gawenda (Editor in Chief), Age, 'AGNSW's new Nolan room', pg. 6, Melbourne, 22 Dec 2004, 6.

Our Art Critic [Paul Haefliger]., The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Imaginative art at Easter show', Sydney, 17 Mar 1948. NOTE: Review of Easter group exhibition at Macquarie Galleries held in March/April 1948.

Our Art Critic [Paul Haefliger], Sydney Morning Herald, 'Events in Art: 1948 Review', Sydney, 01 Jan 1949, (illus.).

Peter Hill, The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Mix 'n' match', pg. 18, Sydney, 15 Jan 2005-16 Jan 2005, 18 (colour illus.). Spectrum supplement of Saturday's edition.

Ava Hubble, The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Box Office' edited, pg. 14, Sydney, 17 Jul 1995, 14. 'On the Rialto'.

Terry Ingram, The Weekend Australian financial review, 'Nolan emerges from Kelly's shadow', pg. 40, Sydney, 22 Jan 2005-23 Jan 2005, 40.

Nicholas Isherwood, Nolan's Nolans: a reputation reassessed, London, 1997. 30 is an earlier (1946), smaller version of the AGNSW painting

Bernd Krimmel, Sidney Nolan: Gemälde und Druckgraphik, 'Zu Bildern Sidney Nolans - such is life', pg. 5-24, Darmstadt, 1971, 34. 12, 'Robbed', 1947, 91 x 121cm, Ripolin

Colin MacInnes', Sidney Nolan, 'Sidney Nolan: The search for an Australian Myth', pg. 9-17, London, 1957, 18. 2, 'Robbed', 1947, ripolin on masonite, 36 x 48", Lent by the artist

Macquarie Galleries, Easter 1948, Sydney, 1948. 15; titled 'Robbed'; priced 40 guineas

David Marr (Editor), Patrick White: letters, Milsons Point, 1994, 138. Letter from Patrick White to Sidney Nolan, dated 7/6/1958, mentioning the painting 'Robbed'.

Alistair McAlpine, The Sydney Morning Herald, 'A rare chance for a patriotic tycoon to make his mark', pg. 14, Sydney, 20 Jun 1995, 14 (illus.).

Alistair McAlpine, The Spectator, 'The heart that counts', pg. 50, London, 10 Jun 1995, 50.

Tatlock Miller., Sun, 'Art show is vital, animated', Sydney, 17 Mar 1948. NOTE: Review of Easter group exhibition at Macquarie Galleries held in March/April 1948.

Hal Missingham., Sidney Nolan. Retrospective exhibition. Paintings from 1937 to 1967, 'Introduction', Sydney, 1967. 35, 'Robbed', 1947, 36 x 48, ripolin on board

Giucio Montagna (Editor), La Fiamma, 'Sydney [sic] Nolan at the Art Gallery of NSW', pg. 18, Leichhardt, 22 Dec 2004, 18.

Clare Morgan., The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Gallery sells off the family silver and strikes gold', Sydney, 21 Dec 2004.

Terence Mullaly., Daily Telegraph, 'Early work of Sidney Nolan: painter's progress to maturity', Sydney, 19 May 1962. page number unknown

Barry Pearce, Sidney Nolan, 'Nolan's Parallel Universe', pg. 17-65, Sydney, 2007, 132 (colour illus.), 233. 42

Barry Pearce., Foundation Newsletter #4, 'The legacy of vision: Nolan and the Nelson Meers Foundation', Sydney, Jun 2004, front page (colour illus.).

Krystyna Pollar., The Australian, 'Nolan the nation's "greatest painter''', Sydney, 19 Dec 2004. This article also appeared in Melbourne's 'Herald Sun' and 'Daily telegraph', Adelaide's 'Advertiser' and Brisbane's 'Courier mail', on 19 December 2004.

John Reed, Art and Australia [vol. 5, no. 2], 'Nolan's Kelly paintings', pg. 443-446, Sydney, Sep 1967, 451. Related work, smaller in scale, is illustrated in colour.

John Russell., Nolan, 'Sidney Nolan', Newcastle upon Tyne, 1961, (illus.). 36

Andrew Sayers, The Ned Kelly Paintings: Nolan at Heide 1946-47, Melbourne, 1997, 44 (colour illus.). figure no. 21; Private Collection, London (not in exhibition)

Sebastian Smee'., The Australian, 'Gallery makes room for foundation's gift of Nolans', Sydney, 21 Dec 2004.

Sotheby's Australia, The collection of Sir David Davies: Australian art 1940s to 1980s, Melbourne, 5 May 2003, Melbourne, 2003, 58, 59 (colour illus.). lot no. 48, 'Robbed', ripolin enamel on composition board, inscribed with title and dated 1947 on the reverse; inscribed 'Cynthia Nolan' on the reverse, 90 by 121 cm, Estimate: $350,000 - $550,000

Jill Sykes (Editor), Look, 'Doing justice to Nolan', pg. 8, Sydney, Mar 2005, 8.

Jill Sykes, Look, 'Nolan's Australia', pg. 28-31, Sydney, Oct 2004, 30 (colour illus.), 31.

Nolan: Everyone feels they know Nolan, but that is far from the truth, East Melbourne, 2018. DVD documentary

Unknown (Editor), Sun-Herald, Sydney, 05 Nov 1997, 17.

Unknown (Editor), Sun-Herald, 'Art treasures for NSW', pg. 17, Sydney, 05 Nov 1995, 17.