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Australian art

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Lady and parrot



Norman Lindsay


23 Feb 1879 - 21 Nov 1969


Norman Lindsay was born at Creswick, the third of six children in one of the most influential artist families in Australian art. Together with his elder brothers, Percy and Lionel, he had his first lessons from Walter Withers in his open-air studio at Creswick and from his brother Lionel, who encouraged and promoted him. A successful novelist as well as an illustrator, painter, maker of ships' models and etcher, Norman Lindsay settled in Springwood in the Blue Mountains, NSW in 1912 - his house is now a National Trust museum. Norman's children's story 'The magic pudding', first published in 1918, remains a favourite among children's books; his first novel 'Redheap' (1930) was originally banned. Exceptionally gifted, Norman Lindsay was the most controversial artist of his time.

His brother Lionel introduced him to etching, which he quickly mastered, producing a technically varied and remarkably cohesive oeuvre of prints which remain among the most sought after of any Australian artist.

Rose Lindsay, the artist's wife and printer of the majority of his etchings, compiled seven volumes of her husband's working proofs, including the drawings for them. These are now in the State Library of NSW, a remarkable record of Lindsay's methods as a printmaker. Proofs of all three states and two preparatory pencil drawings (one smaller, the other the same size) for this print are in volume one. Inspired by Theophile Gautier's great romantic novel 'Mademoiselle de Maupin', first published in 1835, 'Lady and parrot' is one of Lindsay's earliest etchings.

'The etchings are entirely my wife's affair. She prints them, arranges the editions, keeps count of their sales, destroys all discarded proofs and prints. Once I've finished a plate I've done with it.' (Lin Bloomfield (ed.), 'The world of Norman Lindsay', Sydney: Odana Editions, 1979, pg. 18)

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




Media category


Materials used

etching, soft-ground, foul bite, printed in black ink with plate tone on ivory laid paper


3rd final state, ed. 8/40


11.1 x 11.2 cm platemark; 23.0 x 17.6 cm sheet

Signature & date

Signed l.r., pencil "Norman Lindsay". Not dated.


Gift of Sir Kenneth Street 1962


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Norman Lindsay

Works in the collection


Shown in 5 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 8 publications


Rose Lindsay, Rose Lindsay: a model life, 'Etching', pg. 295-296, Bungendore, 2001, 295, 296 (illus.). NOTE: this is not the AGNSW print

Roger Arthur Butler, Printed images by Australian artists 1885-1955, Canberra, 2007, 27 (colour illus.). Collection of National Gallery of Australia

Gavin Fry, Parallel visions: works from the Australian collection, 'J.J. Hilder / Blamire Young / Norman Lindsay', pg. 72-87, Sydney, 2002, 82 (illus.), 145, 147.

Hendrik Kolenberg, Animals on paper - from the Australian collection of prints, drawings and watercolours, Sydney, 1992. 34

Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, Australian prints from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 1998, 49 (illus.). 36

Ewen McDonald, AGNSW Collections, 'From Colonialism to late Modernism', pg. 7-106, Sydney, 1994, 33 (illus.).

Ursula Prunster, The legendary Lindsays, Sydney, 1995, 87 (illus.).

Anne Ryan, Australian etchings and engravings 1880s–1930s from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 2007, 13 (illus.). 13