Skip to main content

To help keep our visitors and staff safe, please book your spot before visiting.

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.

The Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

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

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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 building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance

The Gallery

Visit us, learn with us, support us or work with us! Here’s a range of information about planning your visit, our history and more!

The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night

Support your Portrait Gallery

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

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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 past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency