Collection Online
enamel paint on cardboard
75.5 × 63.5 cm
Place/s of Execution
Dimboola, Victoria
inscribed in ink l.r.: Flo(…illeg.) Worker / 1(…illeg.)
inscribed in blue ink on reverse l.r.: Flour Lumper / 12-4-1943 / Dimboola / Wimmera
inscribed in crayon on reverse c.: 1943 / Nolan
Accession Number
Australian Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Sir Sidney and Lady Nolan, 1983
© the Artist's Estate. All Rights Reserved / Bridgeman Images
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Vizard Foundation
Gallery location
Not on display
Subjects (general)
Cityscapes Human Figures
Subjects (specific)
Australia (nation) Dimboola (inhabited place) grade crossings labourers railroad stations tiger (species) Victoria (state)
Angry Penguins

This image of a man carrying a bag of flour on his back – a job Nolan would have done often in the army – has been intricately abstracted. The bag, with its tiger logo, looms giant in the foreground, while in the background are two tiny figures, perched on the man’s head. In many of these images the space is ambiguously arranged, sometimes giving a floating quality. His ability with colour is present in Flour Lumper: brilliant yellows, reds and blues leap out of the canvas. Nolan was very specific about the paint he preferred – he used Ripolin, a high-grade enamel paint, manufactured for use on houses or boats. He wrote to Sunday Reed, a key member of the Heide community which Nolan was a part of: ‘Their (Ripolin) three best colours strongest, brightest, are lemon yellow, cobalt blue and the red’. He attributed almost magical properties to the paint, writing again to Sunday: ‘Ripolin is like quicksilver. I can see us cooking it over a fire or leaving it out under the rosemary all night to see what secrets can be found in it’.