(Australia, England, France 29 Apr 1875–28 May 1963)
29.4 x 29.0cm blockmark; 36.3 x 32.5cm sheet
"In wishing to rid myself of the mannerisms of a country other than my own I have gone to the art of a people who had never seen or known anything different from themselves ... These are the Australian aboriginals [sic] and it is only from the art of such people in any land that a national art can spring."
- Margaret Preston 1925
Margaret Preston's appreciation and understanding of Aboriginal art and culture grew in sophistication from the time she made her first pronouncements on the subject in the 1920s. During her life she made several visits to Central and Northern Australia, and visited rock art sites in and around Sydney, where she lived. The Australian legend series was made towards the end of her career and integrates colours and compositions derived from Aboriginal paintings, as well as motifs from rock art. For example, the large human footprints in each of these prints were taken from rock carvings in the Sydney area which Preston had seen on excursions with the Anthropological Society of New South Wales.
Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2000
Roger Butler (Australia, b.1948) (Author), Dana Rowan (Editor), Judith Thorne (Editor), The prints of Margaret Preston: a catalogue raisonné, Canberra, 1987, 294 (colour illus.). cat.no. 402
Elizabeth Butel (Author), Nicholas Draffin (Australia, b.1943, d.1995) (Researcher), Margaret Preston: the art of constant rearrangement, Ringwood, 1985, 58 (colour illus.), 93. cat.no. P.76; titled 'The terrible story'
Nicholas Thomas (Australia) (Author), Possessions: indigenous art / colonial culture, London, 1999, 212 (illus.), 297. illus.no. 127
Roger Butler (Australia, b.1948) (Author), The prints of Margaret Preston: a catalogue raisonné, Canberra, 2005, 327 (colour illus.). cat.no. 402
Acquisitions 1967, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 06 Mar 1968–01 Apr 1968.
Margaret Preston: the art of constant rearrangement, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 27 Dec 1985–09 Feb 1986.
Australian icons: twenty artists from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 04 Aug 2000–03 Dec 2000.