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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Norman Lindsay, 1936

Max Dupain

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 40.4 cm x 31.3 cm, image: 40.1 cm x 30.5 cm)

Norman Lindsay (1879–1969), artist, cartoonist, and writer, came from a family that produced five artists: Percy, Lionel, Ruby and Daryl Lindsay were the others. Norman Lindsay left home when he was sixteen to live with Lionel in rented rooms in Melbourne. There, he drew illustrations and cartoons for the sensational rag the Hawklet and was a member of the bohemian artists’ club self-styled the Prehistoric Order of Cannibals. He spent the summer of 1897–98 living in the artists’ colony of Charterisville, making drawings jointly inspired by the Decameron and the neglected gardens around his cottage. In 1901 he moved north to make his permanent home in the Blue Mountains, where he worked for the Bulletin in an association that lasted almost to his death. Meanwhile, his first novel was published in 1913, and by the 1920s he was both proficient and prolific in pen and ink drawing, etching, woodcuts, painting and sculpture. A disciple of Nietzsche from early on, Lindsay loathed Christianity, and his art depicts Bohemianism and Arcadian pantheism admixed in a fantasy world. As early as 1904 his work was deemed blasphemous; in 1930 his novel Redheap was banned and the following year the police proceeded against an issue of Art in Australia that showcased his pictures. Seething with lush nudes, his paintings and prints remain popular with collectors, and his cheerfully violent The Magic Pudding (1918) is still regarded as an Australian children’s classic.

Max Dupain opened his own photographic studio in Sydney in 1934, and the following year his work was published for the first time in The Home. The photograph of Norman Lindsay – whom Dupain frankly admired – is from the first flurry of glamorous shots he took over the course of the 1930s.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by Timothy Fairfax AC 2003

Accession number: 2003.35

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Max Dupain (age 25 in 1936)

Norman Lindsay (age 57 in 1936)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Sydney Ure Smith, 1948 Max Dupain
Sydney Ure Smith, 1948 Max Dupain
Sydney Ure Smith, 1948 Max Dupain
Sydney Ure Smith, 1948 Max Dupain

Dupain detective

Magazine article by Johanna McMahon, 2019

Johanna McMahon revels in history and mystery in pursuit of a suite of unknown portrait subjects.

Colin Madigan and Robert Hughes, Canberra, 1982 (printed 2000) David Moore
Colin Madigan and Robert Hughes, Canberra, 1982 (printed 2000) David Moore
Colin Madigan and Robert Hughes, Canberra, 1982 (printed 2000) David Moore
Colin Madigan and Robert Hughes, Canberra, 1982 (printed 2000) David Moore

Three Dimensional

Magazine article by Kate Gollings, 2004

Kate Gollings describes an encounter between three generations of Australian photographers; David Moore, Max Dupain and John Gollings.

Hélène Kirsova in Petrouchka, 1936-37 Max Dupain
Hélène Kirsova in Petrouchka, 1936-37 Max Dupain
Hélène Kirsova in Petrouchka, 1936-37 Max Dupain
Hélène Kirsova in Petrouchka, 1936-37 Max Dupain

Vintage Max

Magazine article by Gael Newton, 2003

Gael Newton delves into the life and art of renowned Australian photographer, Max Dupain.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.