|Norman Alfred William Lindsay (February 22, 1879 – November
21, 1969). Born in Creswick, Victoria. He was a prolific artist,
sculptor, writer, editorial cartoonist and scale modeler.
Son of surgeon Robert Charles William Alexander Lindsay and Jane
Elizabeth Lindsay. One of ten children, he was the brother of Percy
Lindsay (1870-1952), Lionel Lindsay (1874-1961), Ruby Lindsay (1885-1919),
and Daryl Lindsay (1889-1976).
He is widely regarded as one of Australia's greatest artists,
producing a vast body of work in different media, including pen
drawing, etching, watercolour, oil and sculptures in concrete
His sumptuous nudes were highly controversial.
In 1939, several were burned by irate wowsers in the United States
who discovered them when the train in which they traveled caught
A large body of his work is housed
in his former home at Faulconbridge, New South Wales, now the
Gallery and Museum, and many works reside in private and corporate
collections. His art continues to climb in value today. In 2002,
a record price was attained by his oil painting, Spring's Innocence,
which sold to the National Gallery of Victoria for $AU333,900.
Lindsay was associated with a number of poets,
such as Kenneth Slessor, Francis Webb and Hugh McCrae, influencing
them in part through a philosophical system outlined in his book
Creative Effort. He also illustrated the cover for the seminal
Henry Lawson book, While the Billy Boils. Lindsay's son, Jack
Lindsay, emigrated to England, where he set up Fanfrolico Press,
which issued works illustrated by Lindsay.
Lindsay wrote the children's classic
The Magic Pudding and created a scandal when his novel Redheap
(supposedly based on the town of his birth, Creswick) was banned
due to censorship laws. Many of his novels have a frankness and
vitality that matches his art.
Lindsay also worked as an editorial cartoonist,
notably for The Bulletin. Despite his enthusiasm for erotica,
he shared the racist and right-wing political leanings that dominated
The Bulletin at that time; the "Red Menace" and "Yellow
Peril" were popular themes in his cartoons. These views
occasionally spilled over into his other work, and modern editions
of The Magic Pudding often omit one couplet in which "you
unmitigated Jew" is used as an insult.
Lindsay's creative output was vast,
his energy enormous. Several eyewitness accounts tell of his
in the 1920's. He would wake early and produce a watercolour
before breakfast, then by mid-morning he would be in his etching
studio where he would work until late afternoon. He would work
on a concrete sculpture in the garden during the afternoon and
in the evening write a new chapter for whatever novel he was
working on at the time. As a break, he would work on a model
ship some days.
Lindsay influenced more than a few artists, notably
the illustrators Roy Krenkel and Frank Frazetta; he was also
good friends with Ernest Moffitt.
Read more of Norman Lindsay's story...
|Norman Lindsay completed most of his
sculptures between 1920 and 1940, but even through until the year
before his death in 1969 he
completed sculptural works. His sculptures were his relaxation and
his first was completed in the gardens of Springwood, it was quickly
followed by a satyr pursuing a nymph at the front of his Springwood
home. As with many of his works Rose was his model for the nymph.
|In the 1920's the Greek Sphinx and
The Sirens which lured sailors to their deaths began to appear
in Lindsay's sculpture. The first Sphinx was made in 1927 was small
enough to decorate the radiator cap of Rose's 1926 Vauxhall. Later,
in 1943, he would create a large version on the pathway leading
to the swimming pool. The Siren first appeared in 1926 and then
again in 1928. All but the last of Lindsay's sculptures were made
by applying wet cement onto a metal frame. His final sculpture
was from a full size plasticine model. There are also number of
pots and urns crafted by Lindsay which found a home in his gardens.
|During the 1930's and 1940's Lindsay
decided he needed a 'a fresh approach to art' and began to focus
on a series of large
'gallery' paintings. He had dabbled with oils as early as the start
of the 1900's, His oil paintings included the large works based
on history, mythology and literature, portraits and the smaller
works where he focused on rich and contrasting colours.
|Lindsay kept a book full of the names
and contact details for models and kept most of them busy. But
Rose in her early days and Rita later in his career that he considered
his two most beautiful models. When he was unable to use live models
he would refer to the pencil studies he had amassed over many years
for the correct proportion and muscular definition. He was able
to achieve more accurate skin tones with oils discovered it to
be a medium in which his love of theatre and costume could be better
|It is believed Lindsay made a total
of fourteen model ships. He claimed his interest in ships dated
back to his early years when his families maid gave him a fully
rigged model ship. Lindsay saw his Model ships has a way to relax
and enjoy time away from his studios.
|After the First World
War Lindsay began to experiment and develop his skills as a watercolorist.
His association with artist Blamire Young provided him with a
foundation from which to expand his skill, building up on
the initial washes to become quite dramatic and detailed. His watercolours
are often emotional and always captivating with the
viewer's eye drawn to all parts of the paper which has been carefully
constructed. Each of Lindsay's works inevitably tell the story
of each of the many characters which are depicted. It is
unknown exactly how many
Lindsay produced, rather it is said
|Lindsay had experimented with etchings
as early as 1997, but it wasn't until 1919 that he discovered
the medium in ernest. The success of Lindsay's etchings resulted
his own skill and that of Rose who was widely recognised as a master
printmaker. Together they published 200 etchings and at least 175
which were unpublished. The original etching editions had a maximum
of 55 copies but a large number the plates failed before and the
number produced was significantly less.
On 30 November 1974
Lin Bloomfield; founder of Bloomfield Galleries, in response
to Lindsay's original etchings becoming increasing
and after consultation with Jane Lindsay, released the first
three folios of the facsimile etchings.
Lin Bloomfield retains the copyright on
all of Norman Lindsay's etchings and to produce the facsimile
Editions are restricted to 550 and each is individually numbered.
Authenticity is guaranteed by an embossed seal (see below) with a
dot in the 6:00 o'clock position. All
works have a Certificate of Authenticity and once an edition has
sold out, the image is never again released.
All original printing materials used for the facsimile
etchings are destroyed and the metal plates used in the printing
process are been cancelled.
The facsimile etchings have retained and increased
in both their popularity and value with many now commanding several
www.NormanLindsay.net is able
to offer a number facsimiles many of which are sold out editions.
clicking on the above seal.
|The Bulletin Newspaper
In 1895, Lindsay moved
to Melbourne to work on a local magazine with his older brother
Lionel. In 1901, he and Lionel joined the
staff of the Sydney Bulletin, a weekly newspaper, magazine and
review. There they drew caricatures, cartoons and illustrations
- often in a style nearly indistinguishable from each other. Lionel
on the right, and Norman is on our home page .
Norman's association with and contributions to the
magazine would last over fifty years.
His vigorous illustrations include watercolors, lithographs, and
Lindsay's love of art began with
pencil drawings. In his youth the scarcity of paper would see
he and his brothers would search their home town for anything
to draw on. He grew up keening
studying the works of other
artists, and was inspired by the works of Albrecht Durer and
Lindsay would often prepare for his
larger paintings and etchings by initially composing his works
with a pencil drawing.
Because of his skill and very often the elaborate and detailed nature
of his studies many have become works of art and
|Pen & Ink Drawings
|Many of lindsay's drawings were completed
during his employment with The Bulletin. While it provided him
with an income
his creativity was stifled by the strict editorial guidelines of
the publication. Regardless of the fact that these works were cartoons
his attention to the message and tonal detail was painstaking.
He would complete his cartoons at his home in Springwood from editorial
instructions. In his early years he corresponded with the newspaper
by post and later by telephone. As the Bulletin began to fail on
the back of it's historically strong and unpopular political views
Lindsay 's association was terminated by the then editor
|In addition to his many works of art,
Norman Lindsay was the author of eleven novels. These novels were, "Curate
in Bohemia" 1913, "Redheap" 1930, " Miracles
by Arrangement" 1932, " Saturdee" 1932, "Pan
in the Parlour" 1933, "The Cautious Amorist" 1934, " Age
of Consent" 1935, "Cousin from Fiji" 1945, "Halfway
to Anywhere" 1947, "Dust or Polish" 1950, and "Rooms
and Houses". There were also two children's books, the most
famouse being "The
Magic Pudding" 1918, and the second "The Flyaway Highway" 1936.
Other books included an autobiography: My Mask 1970, and "Reminiscences:
Bohemians of the Bulletin".