Lionel Lindsay, an Australian who dreamed of Córdoba

Our ship most cosmopolitan Cordoba, one that seeks local symptoms scattered across continents, up today on Australian shores, a priori geographical antipodes these sometimes too narrow confines. And thanks to a great Australian artist, Lionel Lindsay (1874-1961), Spain whose love for her led him on several occasions.

Lindsay family, established Creswick (State of Victoria), consisted of five children, each of which made their way a significant contribution to the visual arts of his country. Them, Lionel and Norman were the most prominent, while Daryl, it really was not artist, served, however, an important role as director of the National Gallery. But Lionel Lindsay was among them who won more international fame and recognition, based on their mastery of different printmaking techniques.

The images of rural Australia, those in which grew, were an important part of its production during the early years creative, beginning his work as a writer and illustrator for several newspapers and print editions of notable Australian poets such as Paterson and Henry Lawson.

But it had to happen a decisive event that transformed his career: his first visit to Spain in 1902, when he was twenty-eight. Although not return to Spain until 1926, the number of images with Spanish motifs in relation to its total work, over a hundred, is an eloquent testimony to the impact of this experience, not abandoned throughout his life. It was not however the first Australian to set your retina in landscapes and monuments Spanish. Recall the case of Tom Roberts. There is no doubt that no other as Lindsey set a such close ties with the Spanish culture and mentality.

Lionel Lindsay, Carmelite Convent of San Gaetano, Cordova (1936).
Lionel Lindsay, Carmelite Convent of San Gaetano, Cordova (1936).

The initial motivation for the first visit to Spain was a performance at the Opera Australian land Carmen de Bizet, renew their interest by Merimee's novel, he had read as a teenager. This in turn led him to consider the possibility of creating a series of illustrations for such works exceed somewhat exotic-romantic style to use. Our author thoroughly prepared before embarking on long journey: some members of the Hispanic community in Melbourne was given a guitar course, Flamenco and Spanish language, considering that such elements were enough to really know that distant culture. That first trip took six months, during which he lived primarily in Seville and Cordoba.

But how wrong was Lindsay, he who learned to strum the guitar and say olés unaccented. His image vanished topical discover the rich architectural heritage of the cities I visited. So much so that the extrapolated these findings happy to their country of origin once back home, abandoning landscape issues, critical during his youth, in favor of urban issues and monumental of his country. The Spanish had already lit fuse in his heart.

On that first visit to Spain was fascinated greatly with surviving evidence of Islamic culture. As proof of this his first engravings of the twenties, in which recreates undoubted monuments and landscapes Islamic flavor, aquatint exquisite case of Cordoba. This taste for Islamic architecture intensify years later after his visit to North Africa 1929.

Lionel Lindsay, The Mosque, Cordova.
Lionel Lindsay, The Mosque, Cordova.

The second visit to Spain would not occur until 1926, visit that was encouraged by his growing reputation as an engraver. From 1920 Harold Wright, a leading British illustrators and possessed of a high percentage of the shares of the Exhibition Hall Colnaghi, had been aware of the work of Lindsay. A letter from Wright to this in 1925 in which promises a major exhibition of his work leads him to a new European tour, this time with his wife Jean and their children. The first meeting between Lindsay and Wright cemented what would become a lifelong friendship.

Lionel Lindsay, The Colt, Cordova.
Lionel Lindsay, The Colt, Cordova.

While Lindsay did some Spanish themed recorded during this trip, many works, sketches based on previous, were recorded in Monaco, where he and his wife spent the winter of 1926-1927.

Lionel Lindsay, Herrera Gate, Cordova.
Lionel Lindsay, Herrera Gate, Cordova.

The first exhibition held in London Colnaghi (1927) consisted of some thirty works of authentic maturity. The success in this was allowed to return back to Europe in 1928. In this new journey conducted a two-month stay in Spain, performing the watercolors and drawings rentabilizó. His two-month stay in North Africa served to compare the parallels between this geographical and had apprehended in their frequent trips and Spanish. Spain had become his obsession. Sixty recorded, mostly Spanish-themed, appear published between 1928 and 1934.

Lionel Lindsay, The house on the wall, Cordova (1923).
Lionel Lindsay, The house on the wall, Cordova (1923).

The artist continued with regular exhibitions at Colnaghi between 1928 and 1931. However, the Great Depression impacted dramatically in the printing market worldwide, y for Lindsay, as for other artists, 1930 was a year of limited sales without exhibitions. Lindsay and his wife returned to Spain for the last time during the first quarter of 1934, finding a country on the brink of civil war. This time all the time spent in Andalusia. The images created on this last visit was the basis of a new exhibition at Colnaghi in 1937.

Lionel Lindsay, The hermitage, Cordova (1931).
Lionel Lindsay, The hermitage, Cordova (1931).

On the occasion of this exhibition London, Spanish Ambassador in London, Perez de Ayala described the Australian as “one of us”. It is evident that the knowledge of Lindsey grew to Spain was not merely topical and thumbed. And that Spain was far from Mérimée which led to their youth trip.

Lionel Lindsay, Fair time, Cordova (1945).
Lionel Lindsay, Fair time, Cordova (1945).

Is, Lindsay wanted to see in Spain a certain similarity to his native, Australia. So, Cordoba in that 1902, the effects of light on the stone in the river Guadalquivir reminded streams of Creswick, su ciudad natal. Repeatedly, in his letters and publications, compared the light striking resemblance southern European Mediterranean with that of Australia. Lloyd Rees, discussing some of the engravings of Lindsay, says “you can feel the warm sun of Sydney in the same”. This concern for the effects of light and shadow is fundamental to the artistic vision of our author. Comparison of some of his prints Spanish and Australian urban architectural theme or those who work the contrasts of light and deep shadow, Similarly final result demonstrates an, as if a lane seems a narrow alley Cordoba Sydney and conversely.

Serve this reminder of his work as a sign of gratitude to who dreamed so many times with this land and did not get it, as so often, memory you deserve.

Lionel Lindsay, second from right. Adelaide, 1924.
Lionel Lindsay, second from right. Adelaide, 1924.
His wife, Jean, posing with guitar (1906).
His wife, Jean, posing with guitar (1906).
Be Sociable, Share!


  1. I've said many times, whenever sacks Dr. Initially work I get depressed. It is impossible to keep up. Not if you're out. If so. possibly your strength lies in that and of course that can give some advantage. The truth is that it is an excellent research. Congratulations Dr.

    I've been checking and photo claiming to be S. Cayetano think are the Fathers of Grace, seen from the Marrubial. S. Cayetano would have the right belfry. Anyway nor P. de Gracia or S. Cayetano has two belfries, although the P. Grace, I think they had a modification of the facade.

    The other photographs are instantly recognizable, except that of the tower of the wall, I venture to say it is the tower that is in front of the Gate of the Alcazar Jail, because the nearest tower Almodovar Gate does not have that house next. I note that when the property was, I think, Antoñita Huerta.

    There's a picture and it is a source, from the perspective of the Mosque, the de Triomphe, I had a house attached to the wall facing the door of the Bridge.

    I repeat my congratulations.

    • Paco, this church is arguably San Cayetano. What happens is that for some reason I guess casual, the image is inverted.
      I have a picture of before construction dee housing blocks in the road down to the plains of the station door Colodro, plugging this profile built the temple which was revealed some years. Is it safe western flank of the San Cayetano Church.

      • Tabernero admit that you're right and I will try to prove. The side chapel we see has two buttresses and a bow in his unmistakable facade. You currently have a single belfry, but if we see the main facade symmetry loses his right, what is supposed to have another on that side gable. I put also a photograph of the west side invested. He leant back in his school time.
        Main facade
        Main facade in the observed right asymmetry.
        West facade
        West facade.
        West facade laterally inverted
        West facade laterally inverted.

  2. Dr. Mabuse was a character with great skill for disguise and one of its properties is more pronounced telepathy and hypnosis. Unlike other murderers like Fu Manchu, who committed their crimes through a network of partners and agents, Mabuse acted in person helped by criminals that followed due to a set of desires, fears, hypnosis, charisma, handling, etc..

    One feature of the criminal acts of Mabuse was the thoroughness of the plans (ever came to be on time for a split second).

    His manner of death was pleasure preferred.

      • The house next to the wall in front
        the Alcázar and can be seen in the other
        ye also drawing up, that of the
        wheel of ALBOLAFIA. Si is the fijais fair
        above the grinder (but although it may seem
        not part of it, but is behind).
        A greeting.

        • Ronjunson, really, I've known but almost demolished, was not yet built the Alcazar Avenue. Today the remains beneath the avenue, you can see. Before the seminar was where seminarians played the ball. Then the business flourished and had to import African priests. It was the time that the poor families of the people opted for the Civil Guard or the Seminar for their children. Hitch pins work very well. As aristocratic families, but poor, a son to the military and another for Cardinal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.