(1879 – 1969), Australia

Norman Lindsay Biography

Norman Lindsay was a member of the well-known Lindsay family of Creswick who influenced the direction of Australian art in the early 20th century. Lindsay was encouraged by his family from childhood, with his drawings published in the Creswick Grammar School paper, Boomerang and family connections assisting his appointment as illustrator for the Bulletin in Sydney in 1901, a position he held for more than fifty years. 

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Although it was anticipated that his illustrations would rival the work of DorĂ© and Durer, his paintings and prints after 1906 became predominantly concerned with a vision of classicism that celebrated an idealised, pagan race. While this ideology was equally evident in a number of artists’ work such as Rupert Bunny during this period, Lindsay’s art caused frequent public controversy. In 1904 his pen and ink drawing Pollice Verso created an outrage for its depiction of Christ on the cross, mocked by pagan festivities. However, Lindsay’s artistic skills and the controversy surrounding his art, later highlighted in the film, Sirens (1994), have contributed to his reputation as an important printmaker and Australian artist. 

His work is held in the collections of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. 

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