Norman Alfred William Lindsay (February 22, 1879 – November 21, 1969). Born in Creswick, Victoria. He was a prolific artist, sculptor, writer, editorial cartoonist and scale modeler. Son of surgeon Robert Charles William Alexander Lindsay and Jane Elizabeth Lindsay. One of ten children, he was the brother of Percy Lindsay (1870-1952), Lionel Lindsay (1874-1961), Ruby Lindsay (1885-1919), and Daryl Lindsay (1889-1976).
He is widely regarded as one of Australia's greatest artists, producing a vast body of work in different media, including pen drawing, etching, watercolour, oil and sculptures in concrete and bronze.
His sumptuous nudes were highly controversial. In 1939, several were burned by irate wowsers in the United States who discovered them when the train in which they traveled caught fire.
A large body of his work is housed in his former home at Faulconbridge, New South Wales, now the Norman Lindsay Gallery and Museum, and many works reside in private and corporate collections. His art continues to climb in value today. In 2002, a record price was attained by his oil painting, Spring's Innocence, which sold to the National Gallery of Victoria for $AU333,900.
Lindsay was associated with a number of poets, such as Kenneth Slessor, Francis Webb and Hugh McCrae, influencing them in part through a philosophical system outlined in his book Creative Effort. He also illustrated the cover for the seminal Henry Lawson book, While the Billy Boils. Lindsay's son, Jack Lindsay, emigrated to England, where he set up Fanfrolico Press, which issued works illustrated by Lindsay.
Lindsay wrote the children's classic The Magic Pudding and created a scandal when his novel Redheap (supposedly based on the town of his birth, Creswick) was banned due to censorship laws. Many of his novels have a frankness and vitality that matches his art.
Lindsay also worked as an editorial cartoonist, notably for The Bulletin. Despite his enthusiasm for erotica, he shared the racist and right-wing political leanings that dominated The Bulletin at that time; the "Red Menace" and "Yellow Peril" were popular themes in his cartoons. These views occasionally spilled over into his other work, and modern editions of The Magic Pudding often omit one couplet in which "you unmitigated Jew" is used as an insult.
Lindsay's creative output was vast, his energy enormous. Several eyewitness accounts tell of his working practices in the 1920's. He would wake early and produce a watercolour before breakfast, then by mid-morning he would be in his etching studio where he would work until late afternoon. He would work on a concrete sculpture in the garden during the afternoon and in the evening write a new chapter for whatever novel he was working on at the time. As a break, he would work on a model ship some days.
Lindsay influenced more than a few artists, notably the illustrators Roy Krenkel and Frank Frazetta; he was also good friends with Ernest Moffitt.