Record breaking Ned Kelly painting sells for A$5.4m

Ned Kelly has been immortalised in various pictures and a movie - starring The Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger, of all people - but Sidney Nolan's painting of the Aussie outlaw and bushranger is the real stand-out.

Titled The First Class Marksman, is was painted by Nolan in 1946. The bandit is depicted wielding a rifle, dressed in his iconic homemade armour and iron helmet.

The painting was sold over the phone for an incredible A$5.4m (£3.3m or $4.9m). It is a record price for an Australian artwork.

The purchaser is believed to be the Estate of Australian artist James Gleeson and his partner Frank O'Keefe.


The most valuable Australian artwork ever sold, Sidney Nolan's Ned Kelly

Its price demonstrates Australia's ongoing fascination with Kelly, often portrayed as a 19th century folk hero for rebellion against the colonial authorities.

His legend has resulted in a great investment for one lucky collector. According to UK newspaper, The Telegraph, the painting last sold for $400,000 in 1992.

It was then bought, and now sold, by the Vizard Foundation.

Previously, the most valuable Australian artwork sold at auction was Brett Whiteley's The Olgas for Ernest Giles, auctioned for A$3.48m in 2007.

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