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Australian art

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Lionel Lindsay


18 Oct 1874 - 22 May 1961


The woodblock for this print is in the Gallery's collection. There is a working proof in the State Library of NSW which has an additional section to the table in the composition, subsequently deleted. Lionel Lindsay published 'Twenty-one woodcuts' in 1924, in which this print was the 7th plate. Lindsay intended to produce 35 books on full vellum Nikko paper (at 10 guineas) and 95 on Japanese vellum tipped on white hand-made Waterman paper (at 5gns). 27 of the first and 60 of the second were to be sold in Australia.

In his introduction Lindsay noted: 'This book is the outcome of a long cherished desire to make and print a book. My love of the woodcut has determined its content. The woodcut of today, freed from service, stands for original expression like any of the accepted mediums. Seized by a quality the early men did not sufficiently prize, the play of white on black; the artist engraver has recognised the graver's unique power to throw up a white, more brilliant, bound by its ambient black, than any space made by the enclosing cross-strokes of a pen. In employing this power for purposes of design, the explicit character of the cut will be found: that is I believe our present direction'.

The book was eventually printed May 1924 by the artist on a hand press given to him by his friend The Hon. John Lane Mullins MLC. Ten copies were spoilt while being bound, the final edition consisting of 40 copies on full vellum and 85 on white Whatman paper. There are two copies in the Gallery library, numbers 19 and 21.

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


Other Title

Four fishes



Media category


Materials used

wood engraving, black ink on cream wove paper


edition of 125 in book and 100 aditional proofs


7.4 x 11.3 cm blockmark; 8.9 x 13.6 cm sheet

Signature & date

Signed in block to print u.l., "LIONEL LINDSAY". Signed l.l., pencil "Lionel Lindsay". Not dated.


Gift of Peter Lindsay 1974


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Lionel Lindsay

Works in the collection


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history

Referenced in 2 publications


Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, Australian prints from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 1998, 15 (colour illus.). NOTE: these are images of the woodblock for 'Fish'

Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, Australian prints from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 1998, 40 (illus.). 24