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Death of constable scanlon sidney nolan article

When ever Sidney Nolan painted the Ned Kelly series, he was interested in a great ‘authentic nationwide vision’. The first series was made up of 27 artwork from 1946-1947. The artwork all-together form a storyboard, telling the legend of Ned Kelly. One of them particularly is ‘Death of Constable Scanlon’.

The series, which includes this one, were all coated with Ripolin enamel about hardboard. You can observe the many brushstrokes but some things are colored completely solid for example Ned Kelly himself and the clothing of the policier.

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The portrait is full of things, and it is a scene through the bush terrain. No buildings can be seen yet there are many trees and shrubs on a uncovered, yellow surface. The policier has fallen from his horse and they both are in mid air, while Ned Kelly is usually standing left holding a smoking rifle.

The portrait is very out of proportion, this is noticeable in how a constable is placed. If you look at both rifles, the constable is in front and therefore should be bigger than Ned’s, although isn’t.

Ned is the largest object, followed tightly by the policier and the horse to the proper, they collectively make up the foreground. Going back even more into the painting there is a fencing, distant forest, a camping tent and one more horse and policeman.

The figures are very strangely shaped, like 2D things cut out by paper. Ned is a simple, black silhouette with his eyes shut down and hand holding the rifle. The trees and objects in the background seem to convey more shape to them and have absolutely shadows that help.

The painting consists of very warm colors, of browns, yellows and oranges. There may be an interesting patch of green sky inside the to right hand part, and definitely doesn’t match the rest of the sky which can be very dark and almost like a sunset. The policier looks incredibly out of place along with his formal standard, quite opposite to Ned Kelly whom seems like an all natural part of the surroundings.

The center point of this piece of art is the Policier falling to his loss of life. Ned Kelly though is considered the key focus of all the paintings, and all the events that happened around him.

The painting is incredibly flat and then you�re lead into the work starting with observing the falling person. The downroad is the initial focus then you go backwards and notice small objects and individuals in the background.

The mood is fairly hard to describe, even though it displays the last few just a few seconds of Constable Scanlon’s existence before striking the ground and dying quickly, its practically comical in the appearance.

Nolan was looking to capture a moment in Australian History. The legend of Ned Kelly and his team is well known as well as the series used their story. He was looking to ‘depict a national myth’. He portrays Ned Kelly as a tale, not the man himself.

Nolan talked on this particular painting, he said

“In a rapid, violent incident time appears to stand nonetheless. I have high, the bridle must have recently been long, but that with the levitated horse and policier increase the incongruity of chaotic events. Kelly seems to be present only being a force of destiny. “

The Ned Kelly series now participate in the Nationwide Gallery of Australia in Canberra. They are really a perfect example of the once then developing Expressionism and emerging Modernism. They would best fit into the Expressivism category since Nolan construed the star into his own personal design.


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