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The galaxy



Sidney Nolan

Australia, England

22 Apr 1917 – 28 Nov 1992

Artist profile

Alternate image of The galaxy by Sidney Nolan
Alternate image of The galaxy by Sidney Nolan
  • Details

    Alternative title
    Soldiers shelled while bathing
    Place where the work was made
    London England
    Media category
    Materials used
    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
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © The Trustees of the Sidney Nolan Trust/DACS. Copyright Agency

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    Artist information
    Sidney Nolan

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection


  • About

    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.

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 4 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 7 publications

Other works by Sidney Nolan

See all 140 works