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Portrait of Norman Lindsay as a student, c. 1896

George Coates

oil on cardboard (frame: 39.8 cm x 32.1 cm, support: 28.5 cm x 20.5 cm)

Norman Lindsay (1879-1969), artist, cartoonist, and writer, came from a family that produced five artists. Lindsay left home when he was sixteen to live with his brother in Melbourne. In 1901 he moved north to make his permanent home in the Blue Mountains, working for the Bulletin in an association that lasted almost to his death. 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. Lindsay loathed Christianity, and his art depicts Bohemianism and Arcadian pantheism madly 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 and Australia that showcased his art. Lindsay’s work remains popular with collectors, and his cheerfully violent story The Magic Pudding (1918) retains its status as a classic of Australian children’s literature.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2008

Accession number: 2008.58

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

George Coates (age 27 in 1896)

Norman Lindsay (age 17 in 1896)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Writing

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