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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.