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Old George Street Markets, York Street side



Lionel Lindsay


18 Oct 1874 - 22 May 1961


Lionel Lindsay was born at Creswick, Victoria. His first lessons in art were from Walter Withers at Creswick. He later studied at the National Gallery School, Melbourne and contributed black and white illustrations to various newspapers and magazines, including the 'Bulletin'. He was an inveterate traveller; his first visit to what became his beloved Spain, was in 1902. He and his artist brothers and sister - Percy, Norman, Daryl and Ruby - made up one of the most influential families of Australian artists. Lionel and Norman Lindsay are the best known of the Lindsay children and most diverse in their interests and talents. Both produced oeuvres of exceptional prints. Lionel was a brilliant etcher and wood-engraver, but also a fine draughtsman, watercolourist, collector of and writer about art. His books on Ernest Moffit, Charles Keene, Conrad Martens and his brother Norman reflected his interests and 'Addled Art' (1943) the most extreme of his prejudices. Through his friendships, enthusiasms, writings and as a trustee of the AGNSW, he exerted a considerable influence over art in Australia. His friendship with Harold Wright, a director of the distinguished art dealers, Colnaghi in London, led to important exhibitions of his work in England, the first in 1927.

Lionel credited John Shirlow with generating his interest in prints. Shirlow's etchings and the collection of prints bought by Hubert Herkomer for the National Gallery of Victoria were formative influences. He named his Sydney home 'Meryon' in honour of the etcher who most fired his imagination. In turn, Lionel introduced his younger brother Norman Lindsay and a number of other artists, such as Sydney Ure Smith and Hans Heysen, to etching. He was elected the first President of the Australian Society of Painter-Etchers in 1921.

This is one of a number of etchings made by Lionel Lindsay of 'old' Sydney, after his arrival in 1903. The city was in a state of great flux due to the pressures of development, and many of the older parts, such as the Rocks area, were being demolished. Lindsay was interested, like other artists of the time, in the changing city and in emulation of Meryon, recorded it.

Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, 'Australian prints in the Gallery's collection', AGNSW, Sydney 1998


Other Title

Old George Street markets



Media category


Materials used

etching, printed in brown/black ink with plate tone on cream wove paper




21.0 x 14.6 cm platemark; 26.4 x 19.6 cm sheet

Signature & date

Signed l.l., pencil "Lionel Lindsay".
Signed within plate to print l.l. corner, "Lionel Lindsay". Not dated.


Purchased 1914


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Lionel Lindsay

Works in the collection


Shown in 4 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 7 publications


Hendrik Kolenberg, Everyday life: prints drawings and watercolours from the collections of Australian and European art, Sydney, 1994. 53

Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, Australian prints from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 1998, 38 (colour illus.), 39. 38

Ewen McDonald, AGNSW Collections, 'From Colonialism to late Modernism', pg. 7-106, Sydney, 1994, 29 (illus.).

Joanna Mendelssohn, The art of Sir Lionel Lindsay, Brookvale, circa 1982-circa 1987. 112

Ursula Prunster, The legendary Lindsays, Sydney, 1995, 52 (illus.).

Anne Ryan, Australian etchings and engravings 1880s–1930s from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 2007, 22 (colour illus.). 28

Kay Vernon, Harbour hymns, city songs: visions of Sydney from the collection, Sydney, 1990. 19