We go further afield than two weeks back – close to half way around the world. To the land down under – Australia – and two of it’s artists. #LionelLindsay (1874 – 1961) and #NevilleCayley (1853 – 1903). Two artists who were contemporaries.
We begin with Lionel Lindsay who was a member of a very artistic family. He studied art but taught himself etching and engraving. After travelling to Spain and England , he settled in Sydney and worked as a freelance artist and journalist. He was popular at home as well as abroad. It was Lindsay’s attraction to wood engraving that catapulted him to international renown. By the age of fifty-three, Lindsay had become, internationally, the most successful Australian printmaker of all time and his popularity continues today. His works include portraits of influential Australians, scenes of old Sydney, views of Spain , studies of birds and animals, scenes of Arab culture and images of a swag-man in the outback. He was knighted in 1941 for his service to Australian art.
To avoid confusion we focus on artist Neville Henry Peniston Cayley the father of Neville William Cayley artist and ornithologist. In fact both father and son had hopes of publishing a large folio size book of the birds of Australia but neither did.
Neville Cayley Sr. was born in Dover, England and moved to Australia in 1882. He was a meticulous and exact artist in his depiction of avian Australia. His watercolours are attractive as well as descriptive. He made his living as an artist by selling his work privately or at auction.
The two watercolours in my collection show a fight between a red-headed finch and a Blue Malurus (fairywren) and a pair of Brolga cranes (formerly known as the Native Companion). They are fine examples of Cayley’s style. The titles of the paintings come from the reverse side of the paintings.