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
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
© Estate of Norman Lindsay
Shown in 5 exhibitions
Acquisitions 1962, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 10 Apr 1963–12 May 1963
Animals on paper: from the Australian collection of prints, drawings and watercolours:
The Legendary Lindsays:
Australian prints from the Gallery's collection (1998-1999), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Nov 1998–07 Feb 1999
Parallel Visions: Twenty-two artists from the Australian collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 22 Feb 2002–May 2003
Referenced in 8 publications
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.
Printed images by Australian artists 1885-1955, Canberra, 2007, 27 (colour illus.). Collection of National Gallery of Australia
Unknown, Rose Lindsay: a model life, 'Etching', pg. 295-296, Bungendore, 2001, 295, 296 (illus.). NOTE: this is not the AGNSW print
Australian prints from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 1998, 49 (illus.). cat.no. 36
Ursula Prunster, The legendary Lindsays, Sydney, 1995, 87 (illus.).
AGNSW Collections, 'From Colonialism to late Modernism', pg. 7-106, Sydney, 1994, 33 (illus.).
Australian etchings and engravings 1880s–1930s from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 2007, 13 (illus.). cat.no. 13
Animals on paper - from the Australian collection of prints, drawings and watercolours, Sydney, 1992. cat.no. 34