Detail photos for this Artwork
Tiffany’s Research Notes on “Visitors to Hell”:
Published in 2004, this Limited Edition Facsimile Etching is a faithful reproduction of Norman Lindsay’s original Etching, Engraving and Stipple of “Visitors to Hell” that he created in 1938.
“Visitors to Hell” was the last original etching that Norman Lindsay published from his amazing 20 year output of etchings, and it was an important etching because it was the largest plate the ever etched and the composition was on a grand scale.
In several of Lindsay’s etchings he used very skilfully the dramatic technique of placing ethereal figures in bright light juxtapositioned against dark areas. This is evident in “Visitors to Hell” where the six elegant and unaware visitors, wide-eyed and innocent are bathed in glowing light as they enter into the darker depths of hell. Surrounding them in the darkness are creatures and people from Norman Lindsay’s imagination – the inhabitants of hell. They stare, captivated, amused and dumfounded by the new arrivals, who are cajoled forward into the carnival atmosphere by a welcoming satyr.
“Visitors to Hell”, shows Lindsay’s incredible mastery for detail, with a wonderfully varied portrayal of men, women, and mystical creatures in an array of poses and with an amazing variety of expressions.
The original etchings of “Visitors to Hell” made in 1938, are very rare because in 1940 many of them were destroyed by fire during a trip that Rose Lindsay took to America hoping to stimulate interest in publishing Lindsay’s works. Tragically, on a train journey in Pennsylvania, several large crates that were packed with Lindsay’s best watercolours, oils, pen and ink drawings and a collection of etchings were destroyed when the crates, loaded onto a freight train in a wooden car directly behind the train engine, caught fire. Almost all the works were destroyed, amongst them editions of “Visitors to Hell”.
An original etching of “Visitors to Hell” is represented at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (Edition No. 4), and the Mitchell Library in Sydney holds Norman’s six preliminary working proofs of the etching which were donated to the library by Rose Lindsay in 1974.