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In 1947-48 Nolan executed a series of paintings inspired by the story of Eliza Fraser. He returned to the theme in 1957, completing 31 paintings including this work and 'In the Cave' (also shown in this room). In the 1860s Eliza Fraser and her husband were shipwrecked on an island off the coast of Queensland. After her husband was murdered by aborigines, Mrs Fraser lived among them. They fed her but stripped her. She was rescued by an escaped convict, David Bracefell, who became her lover and whom Mrs Fraser eventually betrayed. This painting depicts Mrs Fraser in the tropical rain forest which she inhabited for months with Bracefell during their return to civilisation.

August 2004