With its startling blue eye exuding fear, pain and yearning for freedom and 'flowers' of blood and fur scattering the foreground, 'Hare in trap' is powerfully autobiographical. Nolan suggested that the hare's blue eyes relate to his father: during a car trip to northern Victoria, Nolan and his father saw a hare caught in a trap, and the look in his father's blue eyes struck him vividly. But Nolan had the same eyes, and this enigmatic work may connect with several aspects of his experience: the restrictions of his fathers' working-class life; his father's and grandfathers' difficult lives on the land; or perhaps Nolan's anxieties as an army deserter or indeed his sense of emotional entrapment at Heide, which may link to the inner meaning of his Kelly series.


  • Title: Hare in trap
  • Creator: Sidney Nolan
  • Date Created: 1946
  • Physical Dimensions: 90.5 x 121.5 cm board
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Purchased with funds provided by the Nelson Meers Foundation, the Margaret Hannah Olley Art Trust, and the Art Gallery of New South Wales Foundation 2007 © The Trustees of the Sidney Nolan Trust
  • Medium: ripolin enamel on hardboard
  • Signature & Date: Not signed. Dated l.r., "Sept 15th 46".
  • Object Other Titles: Hare in a trap
  • Artist Country: Australia, United Kingdom

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