[Head of a Gallipoli soldier]

Place Middle East: Ottoman Empire, Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli
Accession Number ART91445
Collection type Art
Measurement Framed: 125.2 cm x 94.9 cm x 4.8 cm; Unframed: 122.2 cm x 91.4 cm
Object type Painting
Physical description alkyd on hardboard
Maker Nolan, Sidney
Place made Ottoman Empire: Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli
Date made 1977
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC

Head of a Gallipoli soldier with white face wearing a slouch hat on green background. The bright colour of the background belie the portrait of the soldier. His face is pale and eyes hollow, he appears to be in a state of shell-shock. It is reminiscent of his 'Head of a soldier', 1942, in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, which represents Nolan's reaction to the Second World War as lunacy. When Nolan returned to the 'Gallipoli' series in 1977 the portrait types of soldiers had lost their spark of innocence and somehow felt tarnished. Time had caught up with their innocence and Australia's and disenchantment had set in. They appeared corrupted by what they had experienced and seen at Gallipoli.