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NORMAN ALFRED WILLIAM LINDSAY (1879-1969)
“Beauty Temptress c.1934”
Certificate Verso Signed by Lyn Bloomfield)
Provenance: Private Collection, Queensland. Purchased originally from Bloomfield Galleries.
Who is tempting who? That is the question in this magnificent Norman Lindsay painting. If there was one thing Norman Lindsay loved, it was women. If there was another thing the artist adored, it was cats. He was a prolific cat painter and sketcher. He did books of cats, cards of cats, caricatures of cats. Lindsay was more than a serious painter of his day; he was a noted book illustrator and cartoonist in the media. He also was author and creator of the now classic Australian children’s book, The Magic Pudding. Therein one found a wealth of bush animals depicted day to day in their moods and characters. So it has been with Lindsay’s cats, none haughtier than this handsome beast. The cat stares intensely, almost disdainfully at the nude. She averts her gaze perhaps ambiguously. She knows she is beautiful but perhaps she is no competition for this exquisite cat.
Study this painting for years on end and one will never be quite sure who is the beauty. It teases the imagination in a way only Norman Lindsay can do. He was one of the country’s great masters of the female form. He used watercolours to impart the delicacy of the skin and the subtleties of facial expression. This lovely, sensual work characterises his sense of romance along with his sense of humour. It is a rare treasure.
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