Self portrait, Lionel Lindsay
  • Artist
    Lionel Lindsay
  • Born
    1874
  • Died
    1961
  • Title
    Self portrait
  • Date of Production
    1897
  • Medium
    pencil
  • Dimensions
    29.2 x 18 cm
  • Credit Details
    Gift of Peter Lindsay, 1973. © National Library of Australia

Lionel Lindsay

Self portrait

One of Australia's finest draughtsmen and print makers, Creswick born Lionel Lindsay believed that drawing was the basis of fine art, and he was opposed to the tendencies of modernist art which he saw as devaluing this basic skill.

It was an interest in astronomy, not art, that first took Lindsay to Melbourne in 1889 where he had secured a position at the Melbourne Observatory. However, he continued to draw, and his artistic pursuits gradually overtook astronomy as he spent many evenings in the Melbourne Library making pencil sketches of engravings of paintings of Italian Masters and studying Charles Keene's drawings in Punch.

In 1893 Lindsay became employed as an illustrator for the Hawk and commenced drawing classes at the National Gallery School, Melbourne. Created before his trip to Europe in the early 1900s, this striking self-portrait with its strong sense of line and structure combines a sense of realism and directness.