Painted in 1955, Ned Kelly: Crossing the River is being sold by Nolan’s daughter who has had the painting at her house in Boston for the last thirty years.
Considering the impeccable provenance and the fact that the painting is fresh to the market, the $800,000 and $1,200,000 estimate seems very reasonable.
The last time the painting was displayed in public, and the last time it was on Australian shores, was in 1975 when it made an appearance at the David Jones art gallery as part of an exhibition titled The Cynthia Nolan Collection of Paintings by Sidney Nolan.
Since making its first appearance in 1955 at an exhibition of Nolan’s paintings at The Redfern Gallery in London, Ned Kelly: Crossing the River has been seen in exhibitions in Australia, England and America.
International interest in Nolan’s work has increased recently thanks to the announcement of the exhibition of Australian art to be held at the Royal Academy in 2013 which features one of Nolan’s Ned Kelly paintings. An exhibition of Nolan’s work is also currently on show at the Irish Museum of Modern Art.
Also featured in the Sotheby’s sale are lot 15, a spectacular landscape by Brett Whiteley estimated to fetch $400,000-$500,000, as well as Jeffrey Smart’s The New School II (2004) which is being sold with an estimate of $400,000-$600,000.