Norman Alfred Williams Lindsay (Australian, 1879-1969) 'The Sisters'
Lot 543W
Norman Alfred Williams Lindsay (Australian, 1879-1969) 'The Sisters'
Sold for AU$ 288,000 (US$ 269,537) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
Norman Alfred Williams Lindsay (Australian, 1879-1969)
'The Sisters'
signed 'NORMAN LINDSAY' (lower right) and partially signed 'NORM' (lower left); inscribed 'SISTERS (COLOUR)' (on label verso); bears AGWA exhibition labels (verso)
oil on canvas
115.5 x 100cm (45 1/2 x 39 3/8in).


    Sale, Christie's, Melbourne, 11 March 1971, lot 154, sold for $8,200 (buyer Lapin)
    Dennis Gowin of Kevin Dennis Motors, purchased privately circa 1973 for in excess of $40,000
    Collection of Alan Bond
    Eileen Bond, 1990

    Perth, The Western Australian Art Gallery, Collectors Pride, 3-26 June 1977, cat. no. 61

    Norman Lindsay, Paintings in Oil, The Shepherd Press, Sydney, 1945, illustrated pl. 10
    Terry Ingram, 'Saleroom', The Australian Financial Review, 25 October 1973, illustrated
    Lin Bloomfield, Norman Lindsay: oil paintings 1889-1969, Bungendore, 2006, illustrated, pp.200-201

    The present lot was painted in 1943, and at least two preparatory studies are known: one wash and one in pencil (both illustrated in Bloomfield 2006, p.200). The model on the right was Alda, a Parsee Indian. When the painting sold at Christie's in 1971, it fetched a world-record price for the artist. It caused a sensation when it sold for over $40,000 just over two years later:

    "Allegorical figures, a peacock, doves, jackal and vultures, accompany two full frontal nudes, one black and one white. The use of allegory, and a dash of humour - the white woman with doves and peacock has the look of a whore about her while the black woman, with jackal and vultures, is unconvincing in her ferocity and bears almost a benign expression - is more characteristically Lindsay...The rarity of his oils (he was not prolific in this medium) should ensure a strong continuing demand for the most accomplished works, such as Sisters." (Ingram 1973)
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