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Australian art

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Mt Erebus



Sidney Nolan

Australia, England

22 Apr 1917 - 28 Nov 1992


'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.


Other Titles

Mount Erebus

Mount Erebus, Antarctica

Mt. Erebus, Antarctica



Media category


Materials used

oil and alkyd gel medium 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

Accession number


Artist information

Sidney Nolan

Artist profile

Works in the collection


Shown in 7 exhibitions

Exhibition history

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.). 12

Robert Melville, Sidney Nolan, 'The poetry of painting', pg. 5-8, New York, Jan 1965, (illus.). 8; titled 'Mount Erebus'

Hal Missingham, Sidney Nolan. Retrospective exhibition. Paintings from 1937 to 1967, Sydney, 1967. 129; titled 'Mount Erebus, Antarctica'

Alan Moorehead., Sidney Nolan: Antarctica, 'Introduction', England, 1984, (illus.). 17; titled 'Mt. Erebus'

Barry Pearce, Frances Lindsay, Lou Klepac and Edmund Capon AM, OBE, Sidney Nolan, Sydney, 2007, 54, 55, 193 (colour illus.), 238. 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.).