Recently I had the rare opportunity to view a very special piece of work by one of Australia’s most iconic and controversial artists, Norman Lindsay, at a friend’s art gallery.
I have long been a fan of the artist’s work and am especially interested in ‘Pantera’: the exceptional detail (especially in the gorgeous dress) and the mysterious subject matter. Just what is going on in this sensual arrangement?
The original etching is one of five in a book called ‘Idyllia’, published in 1922. The gorgeous book was printed as a very limited edition of 133 (only 100 of which were offered for sale) and intact editions are extremely rare – unfortunately the books are more valuable sold as individual etchings.
Here are the opening lines of the poem that accompanies ‘Pantera’, one of the fifteen poems by Hugh McCrae contained in ‘Idyllia’.
“Pantera dear, between us two,
How much is dream… how little true?
If one a phantom… I, or you?” Continue reading