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Life Chronology of Norman Lindsay

1879 - 1900

Norman Lindsay and one of his favourite cats, 'Armstrong-Jones'

Norman Lindsay and one of his favourite cats, 'Armstrong-Jones'

  • Born Creswick, Victoria on 22nd February, 1879
  • As a child, impressed by J. Solomon's 'Ajax and Cassandra' in the Ballarat Art Gallery
  • Removed to Melbourne in 1895 employed through his brother Lionel as illustrator on the 'Hawklet'
  • Lived at Charterisville, near Heidelberg, Victoria, with brother Lionel c. 1897
  • Attended life drawing classes in Melbourne organised by George Coates late 1890's
  • Read Nietzsche's 'Anti-Christ and Zarathustra' c. 1898
  • Created pen-and-ink drawings for 'The Decameron' 1899
  • Married Catherine Parkinson 1899. Son Jack born 28th December, 1900.

1901 - 1910

  • Moved to Lavender Bay, Sydney 1901 and joined the staff of the 'Bulletin'
  • Met Rose Soady shortly before the birth of son Raymond in 1903
  • Drew 'The Scoffers', pen-and-ink, 1903. Purchased by Bernard Hall
  • Drew 'Polllice Verso, pen-and-ink, 1904
  • Began 100 conte-and-wash illustrations to 'Memoirs of Casanova' 1906. Son Philip born 1906
  • First exhibited with Society of Artists 1907. 'Pollice Verso' exhibited 1907; purchased by the Melbourne Art Gallery for 150 pounds
  • To Europe 1909. Rose followed later. In Naples began 100 pen-and-ink illustrations for Petronius
  • Visits to South Kensington Museum stimulated interest in ship models; made sketches of models in the Museum's collection
  • Published Petronius 'Satyricon' 1910.

1911 - 1920

  • Returned to Australia 1911. Published 'Norman Lindsay Book 1' 1912. Drew 'Crucified Venus', pen-and-ink, 1912
  • Settled with Rose in Artarmon for six months. Stricken with pleurisy. By then he had completed a ship model of Cook's 'Endeavour', purchased by National Gallery of Victoria. Worked on models during convalescence. Moved to Leura for six months and then to a house near Faulconbridge, 'Everton'. c. 1912. Painted about 8 oil paintings 'in the glaze method' at Harley Griffith's suggestion
  • Rose purchased house at Springwood from Francis Foy in late 1912
  • Built lower studio at the Springwood house. 'Three Women' oil, first painting to be done in the studio
  • Published 'A curate in Bohemia' 1913
  • Constructed model of a section of Medieval Paris as a background for illustrations to 'Villon'
  • Built 'the dam' at Springwood c. 1914-16. Published 'Norman Lindsay Book 1' 1915
  • Divorced by Kate 1918
  • Published 'The Magic Pudding' 1918. 'Art in Australia' published 'The Pen Drawings of Norman Lindsay' 1918
  • Leon Gellert published 'The Isle of San: A Phantasy' 1919. Contains the first five of Lindsay's etchings to be used as book illustrations
  • Held first one-man show of etchings in Sydney and Melbourne 1919
  • Built second studio at Springwood 1918-20. Old studio then used for etchings
  • Created first outdoor sculpture before 1920: Satyr pursuing nymph. Naiad on edge of pool. Girl with hands behind head. Pot on front lawn with head on pedestal. Two figures on front steps (now in the Oil Painting 'red' room)
  • Married Rose 1920. Daughter Jane born 1920
  • Created 'Idyllia', series of 12 etchings 1920
  • Drew 'The Garden of Happiness', 20 pen-and-ink drawings 1920-23.

1921 - 1930

  • Became member of the Australian Painter-Etchers Society 1921
  • Daughter Helen born 1922
  • Created bust to the right of the studio door early 1920's
  • Represented in Society of Artists exhibition Australian art in London 1923. Work bitterly attacked by Sir William Orpen
  • Published 'Creative Effort' 1924. Published 'Pen Drawings' 1924. Published editions of Aristophanes 'Lysistrata', illustrated with pen drawings, Fanfrolico Press 1926
  • Prolific period for sculpture late 1920's: 'Woman holding breasts', before 1926. Courtyard at back of house c.1926 containing oriental woman c. 1927-28. siren and Bench replaced circular pergola c. 1926-28. Radiator cap in collaboration with Rayner Hoff c. 1927. Plaster sirens in hallway, cast by Rose, late 1920s
  • Published 'A Homage to Sappho' illustrated with etchings, Fanfrolico Press 1928
  • Published 'Madam Life's Lovers', Fanfrolico Press, London 1929
  • Published 'Redheap' London 1930, Banned by Australian Customs
  • Illustrations in special Norman Lindsay issue of 'Art in Australia' created furore December 1930.

1931 - 1945

  • To New York with Rose 1931. 'Art in Australia' published 'Norman Lindsay's Pen Drawings', 1931
  • To London January,1932; returned to Australia March, 1932. Published 'Saturdee' circa 1932
  • Published 'Miracles by Arrangement' 1932
  • Published 'Pan in the Parlour' 1933
  • Published 'the Cautious Amorist' 1934. Banned by Australian Customs
  • Began to paint in oils at studio at 12 Bridge St., Sydney, c.1934. Lived mostly in Sydney until Rose's trip to America in 1939
  • Published 'Age of Consent' 1935. Story relates to his discovery of oil as a medium. Banned by Australian Customs
  • Published 'Flyaway Highway' 1936
  • Kenneth MacKenzie published 'Our Earth' 1937. Lindsay etching is frontispiece; his last etching used as a book illustration. Held probably last one-man show of etchings 1937
  • Rose went to the United States 1939. Many works destroyed in train fire
  • Created three-figure sculpture in front of studio in 1940-42
  • Created sphinx and female satyr sculptures beside path to the dam c.1943
  • Published 'Paintings in Oil' 1945. Created seahorse fountain c.1945. Published 'The Cousin from Fiji' 1945.

1946 - 1969

  • Published 'Half Way to Anywhere' 1947
  • Daughter Jane acquired etching studio and built house around it 1949
  • Published 'Dust and Polish' 1950. Decorated pots 1953-55
  • Gave up the lease on Bridge Street studio 1956
  • Son Philip died 1958
  • Son Raymond died Sydney 1960
  • Published 'Norman Lindsay's Ship Models' 1966. 'The Greek Galley', his last model, created especially for this book
  • Replaced bust at left of studio door 1966-67. Rose Lindsay published 'Model Wife' 1967
  • Built reclining woman fountain 1968, his last sculpture and his only work in cast cement
  • Donated collection of work to the University of Melbourne School of Architecture January 1969.
    Published 'Norman Lindsay Watercolours'1969
  • Norman Lindsay died Springwood 21st November, 1969. 'My Mask' published 1970.


  • Norman Lindsay Gallery and Museum at Springwood opened To Public 25th February, 1973.

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