We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


The water cart

(circa 1921)


Percy Leason

Australia, United States of America

25 Feb 1889 – 11 Sep 1959

No image
  • Details

    (circa 1921)
    Media category
    Materials used
    etching, black ink with very pale plate tone on ivory wove paper
    5.7 x 13.3 cm platemark; 13.5 x 20.1 cm sheet
    Signature & date

    Signed l.r., pencil "Percy Leason".
    Signed within plate to print l.l., "Leason". Not dated.

    Purchased with funds provided by the Arthur Boyd Acquisition Fund 1998
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Estate of Percy Leason
    Artist information
    Percy Leason

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Percy Leason was born at Kaniva, Victoria and studied at the National Gallery School, Melbourne 1907-10 and with Max Meldrum in 1927. At the age of 17 he was apprenticed to commercial lithographers Sands and McDougall. Encouraged by Sydney Ure Smith, he moved from Melbourne to Sydney in 1917 to work for the advertising firm Smith and Julius in 1917, the same year as Lloyd Rees, both on the strength of their black and white drawings. He was political cartoonist for the 'Bulletin' from 1919 to 1924, and then became the most highly paid cartoonist in Australia when he began working for Melbourne Punch. He was famous for his 'Wiregrass' cartoons in 'Table Talk' (1924-37) and was a founding member of the Australian Painter-Etchers Society; 'The water cart' was included in their first exhibition. Leason made very few etchings, most of which are images of rural life. The cancelled copper plate for The water cart is in the Gallery's collection. Leason emigrated to the United States in 1938.

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

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 4 publications

Other works by Percy Leason

See all 15 works