A SKETCH OF ST MARY'S CATHEDRAL, SYDNEY APPROXIMATELY 1914 BY LIONEL LINDSAY
LINDSAY, SIR LIONEL ARTHUR (1874-1961)
A prominent Sydney business-person gave my grandmother (Alice Casson 19/7/1895 to 23/1/1984) the sketch by Lionel Lindsay of Sydney's oldest catholic church, St Mary' Cathedral. Being Catholic and a close friend of the family she used take care of his pets & family while he was away, approximately 1918 at the age of 23 years. Quite often she used to sit on the gas box outside the house and wait for her husband (Cecil Casson).
The St Mary' s Cathedral was the dream of John Joseph Therry when the foundation stone was laid in 1821. But this building was destroyed by fire in 1865, forcing the Catholic community to fund a temporary structure. Short lived - fire struck again almost four years later gutting the makeshift building. Construction on the sandstone cathedral now on the site started in December 1868. With Queens Square and Hyde Park fronting the Cathedral, in 1907 the white picket fence surrounding the park was taken down as part of a plan to further open the site to the public.
Born in Creswick Victoria on 17 October 1874 Sir Lionel Arthur Lindsay was the eldest of three talented sons from the nine child Lindsay families. His two other brothers shared similar fame and fortune with Norman producing many controversial works both in art and writing for the 1930's period, although his most memorable effort given in the form of a children's book "The Magic Pudding".
Sir Ernest Daryl Lindsay, the youngest of the three brothers talents lie in the area of landscape paintings, with his other forte being his studies of horses. His role as director and advisor to the National Gallery of Victoria and his prominent role of establishing the National Trust of Australia could only be surpassed by his wife, Joan, who also received much notoriety in the early 60's for writing the famous book "Picnic at Hanging Rock".
Sir Lionel Arthur Lindsay began his artistic career in his teens studying landscape paintings and drawings while earning his living at the Melbourne Observatory. Freelancing as an artist / journalist, he had several drawings published in the Sydney Bulletin and was a cartoonist for the Sydney evening news from 1903 to 1926.
He taught himself etching and engraving, two art forms to which he made his forte, becoming famous for his woodcuts of Australian animals and birds.
An inveterate traveller throughout the early and mid 1900's, he visited Europe several times, especially Spain, and also India and North Africa. The paintings, watercolours and etchings resulting from those journeys were exhibited successfully at home and abroad .his works can be found in most Australian galleries and as far abroad as the British museum, the New York library and the Modern Gallery in Madrid.