Sidney Nolan and George Johnston: From the Origins of Gallipoli to an Orange Head

Paul Genoni, Tanya Dalziell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article presents results of research using the diaries of Sidney Nolan, recently made available by the National Library of Australia. In particular, it focuses on two matters relating to Nolan’s lengthy friendship with Australian journalist and novelist George Johnston: clarifying the origin of Nolan’s Gallipoli series, which is strongly associated with a period in 1955 and 1956 that Nolan spent with Johnston on the Greek island of Hydra; and secondly, providing evidence regarding a curiosity with the series of portraits known as the Adelaide Ladies, which Nolan painted after spending time with Johnston at the Adelaide Festival of Arts in 1964. With regard to the Gallipoli series, Nolan’s diaries establish that the origin of this series is considerably later than has previously been believed; likewise, our research suggests that the diaries support the contention that a portrait that has long been included among the Adelaide Ladies is in fact a portrait of Johnston.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-93
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Australian Studies
Issue number1
Early online dateJan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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