Skip to main content

We’re thrilled to welcome you back to the Gallery! Please see what we need you to do first.

Menu

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.

Melodrama..., c. 1900

an unknown artist

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 12.0 cm x 16.8 cm, image: 11.1 cm x 15.5 cm)

This work is from a group of fifteen photographs relating to the artists Lionel (1874–1971) and Norman Lindsay (1879–1979) and their circle, taken at the family home in Creswick, Victoria and at Norman Lindsay’s home in Faulconbridge, New South Wales. According to the inscription on the reverse, this scene shows Will Dyson (left) in the role of ‘the villain’, being foiled by hero Ted Dyson (second from left). Percy Lindsay (centre), the eldest of the nine Lindsay children, is the ‘Guardian angel hovering over a dying child’, played by Reg Lindsay; Mary Lindsay (second from right) plays the child’s ‘Grief stricken mother’ and Ruby Lindsay (right) is the ‘villainess’ of the piece. Percy Lindsay (1870–1952) studied at the National Gallery School in Melbourne and later moved to Sydney, where he took over from his brother Lionel as the principal illustrator for the New South Wales Bookstall Co. Ruby Lindsay (1885–1919) also trained at the National Gallery School and, like her brothers, worked as an illustrator for publications such as the Bulletin. She and Will Dyson (1880–1938) married in 1909 and travelled to London, where Dyson’s cartoons attracted a large intellectual following. Dyson was appointed an official war artist for the AIF in 1916. Ruby died in London in 1919 having contracted influenza during the pandemic that emerged at the end of the First World War.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2008

Accession number: 2008.101

Currently not on display

Copyright image request form
Request a digital copy of an image for publication

Artist and subject

Will Dyson (age 20 in 1900)

Edward Dyson (age 35 in 1900)

Percy Lindsay (age 30 in 1900)

Reg Lindsay

Mary Lindsay

Ruby Lindsay (age 15 in 1900)

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.

The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

The Gallery

Explore portraiture and come face to face with Australian identity, history, culture, creativity and diversity.

Plan your visit

Timed ticketing, location, accessibility and amenities

Support your Portrait Gallery

We depend on your support to keep creating our programs, exhibitions, publications and building the amazing portrait collection!

We would like to thank our partners.
© National Portrait Gallery 2020
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia


Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

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.