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Image: Lionel LINDSAY, Drafting Sheep, 1947, etching and mezzotint printed in brown ink. Gift of Peter Lindsay, 1971.
© National Library of Australia.
Photo: MDP Photography & Video.

Lionel Lindsay | Drafting Sheep

Selected works from the TAMA Collection


Free Entry


Monday 20th July - Tuesday 8th December 2020


10.00am - 4.00pm


Ararat Gallery TAMA



Drafting Sheep is a collection display that celebrates the work of Lionel Lindsay. Born into an artistic family in Creswick, Victoria, Lindsay (1874-1961) was, without doubt, one of Australia’s great black and white artists – as a printmaker his achievements remain arguably unrivalled in Australian art of this era.

Almost 50 years ago, Lindsay’s niece Felicity Shaw generously gifted the work Pheasanox Magnolius by her famous uncle to the then newly established Ararat Gallery. Shortly after, Lindsay’s son Peter gifted a further number of his father’s prints including the iconic Drafting Sheep, effectively establishing the Gallery’s collection.

Drafting Sheep sits within a rarer series of Lindsay’s nostalgic Australian bush scenes from 1946-50.  Lindsay was a lifelong and vocal opponent of modernism, however, by the late 1940s, his generation of traditionalists had been usurped by an ascendant generation of young modern artists.

Lindsay weathered these profound changes in Australia’s cultural landscape with difficulty, but today we can view the nostalgic realism of these three prints with hindsight and appreciate Lindsay’s unyielding commitment to his art, as revealed through his late-career mastery of the complex mezzotint process.

The White Fan, also included in this collection, was widely lauded for its dramatic contrasts, fine detail and technique at the height of Lindsay’s skill, while The Great Door, Burgos notably drew comment from Anglo-French writer and historian Hilaire Bellac that “it optimised the whole history of the Catholic Church”.

Further to the image of this famous Spanish Cathedral, this exhibition also includes etchings depicting scenes from Tunisia and India likewise from Lindsay’s 1928-30 travels – Lindsay travelled widely throughout his career including North Africa and extensively in Europe.  He maintained markets in Australia, the United Kingdom and beyond for his prints, and together with his more famous brother, Norman Lindsay, he exhibited and published books and print folios through Colnaghi in London.



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