The Funeral March of Don Juan


Original etching

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24.0 x 30.4 cm
Etching, engraving and stipple on paper
Edition: 55

Norman Lindsay Etchings: Catalogue Raisonné (Odana Editions and Josef Lebovic Gallery, 2006, cat.254)
Art Gallery of Western Australia
Queensland Art Gallery

The Royal South Australian Society of Arts organised an Artists' Week in July 1924 which was managed by Frederick Preece and his son John. Artists from all over Australia participated, including Norman who sent etchings, pen drawings and watercolours. A week before the opening, news broke that the seven-member committee of the Royal South Australian Society of Arts had banned three of Norman's etchings - The Funeral March of Don Juan was one of them. They also refused permission for Preece to hang them. The committee rejected the etchings on the grounds that they would 'debase rather than uplift art'.

The Sydney artists threatened to withdraw their works in support of Norman. Norman decided to withdraw all his pictures from the exhibition but arranged with Preece to hold a solo exhibition at Preece's Gallery during Artist's Week. The exhibition comprised of seventeen etchings (including the three banned ones), six pen drawings and ten watercolours. People were encouraged to go to both exhibitions defying the taste of the selection committee. Crowds flocked to both exhibitions, but more came to Norman's than the official one.

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