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Painting of Australia folk hero on public display

2010-04-14 08:54 BJT


A painting that sold for a record auction price in Australia has been given a new home at a public art gallery in Sydney.

The work depicts legendary outlaw Ned Kelly, and is the only one in the series by Australian artist Sidney Nolan on display outside the nation's capital, Canberra.

The painting "First Class Marksman" by Sidney Nolan 
The painting "First Class Marksman" by Sidney Nolan 

The painting "First Class Marksman" by Sidney Nolan broke the Australian auction record when it was purchased for 5.4 million Australian dollars, or about 5 million US dollars in late March.

At the time, the bidder remained anonymous, but it has now been revealed that the piece was purchased by a benefactor to ensure it could hang on public display at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney.

The work is the only one of 27 in Nolan's original 1940s Ned Kelly collection held outside the Australian National Gallery in Canberra.

Edmund Capon from the Art Gallery of New South Wales believes Nolan is one of the defining Australian artists of the 20th century, and is glad to see the painting on display for Sydney residents to appreciate.

Bushranger and folk hero Ned Kelly is one of the most famous figures in Australian history.

He was wearing the iconic homemade armor depicted in Nolan's painting when he was captured by police in a shoot-out in 1880 before being hanged in Melbourne later that year.

"First Class Marksman" was painted in 1946.

Nolan was born in Melbourne in 1917 and is well known for his paintings of Australian historical figures.

Editor: Liu Fang | Source: CCTV.com