Sir Sidney Nolan RA, Self-portrait in Youth

Self-portrait in Youth, 18 April 1986

Sir Sidney Nolan RA (1917 - 1992)

RA Collection: Art

In this self-portrait, painted just days before his sixty-ninth birthday, Nolan remembers himself as a young man. Shrouded within mists of paint, his clothing and features are almost indecipherable. The sombre colour palette and mask-like features evoke the passage of time.

As a young man, Sidney Nolan worked in the marketing and design department of a hat factory in Melbourne, where he first learned to work with commercial spray paint. Later, in the 1980s, the artist created a series of abstract portraits of historical and contemporary figures he admired, returning to the methods of spray paint from his early career to reflect on his life, career, and legacy.

Object details

Self-portrait in Youth
Sir Sidney Nolan RA (1917 - 1992)
18 April 1986
Object type
Copyright owner
Enamel spray on canvas

1830 mm x 1605 mm x 38 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Diploma Work given by Sir Sidney Nolan RA accepted 1992
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