Norman Lindsay

Australia, b.1879, d.1969

The Swing

  • Presented by G S Jones, 1932
  • Watercolour
  • 840 x 738mm
  • 69/476
  • 1922

The focal point in this Arcadian garden scene is the couple riding the swing. Norman Lindsay has them soar above the groups of nymphs and satyrs, reinforcing the sense of freedom and lack of inhibition. One of Australia’s most popular and significant 20th century artists, Lindsay’s subjects were often uninhibited and erotic. While many of his works upset religious organisations, because their content was seen as immoral, his work was readily accepted by the Australian art establishment because of his technical excellence. Here the washes of colour have been expertly handled. Born in Creswick, Victoria, Lindsay came from a family of artists. In 1899 he moved to Sydney to work for the Bulletin as an illustrator. During World War I he designed posters and after the War concentrated on watercolour painting and etchings. Throughout his career Lindsay illustrated numerous books, including many Greek and Roman classics. He established the Fanfrolico Press in 1927 and he also wrote fiction. He travelled widely throughout Europe and America.