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Australian legend, number 2: The terrible story

(circa 1957)


Margaret Preston

Australia, England, France

29 Apr 1875 – 28 May 1963

Artist profile

  • Details

    Other Title
    The terrible story
    (circa 1957)
    Media category
    Materials used
    colour woodcut on tan laid Japanese paper
    Unknown edition
    29.4 x 29.0 cm blockmark; 36.3 x 32.5 cm sheet
    Signature & date

    Signed in block to print l.l., incised "MP".
    Signed l.r. beneath blockmark, pencil "Margaret Preston". Not dated.

    Gift of W.G. Preston, the artist's widower 1967
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Margaret Rose Preston Estate/Copyright Agency

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Margaret Preston

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection


  • About

    "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

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 3 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 4 publications

Other works by Margaret Preston

See all 121 works