The Joy of Museums

Finding Beauty & Meaning in Museums

“Sphinx” by Norman Lindsay

The sphinx Norman Lindsay

“Sphinx” by Norman Lindsay

“Sphinx” by Norman Lindsay dates from the late 1940’s and can be found at the Norman Lindsay Gallery and Museum Gardens. On the track down to the swimming pool, there are two figures which guard the entry to the northern side of the property. One of the figures is a bronze Sphinx and opposite the Sphinx is a cement figure a Satyress. This Sphinx is a bronze copy of the original cement work which is located in the museum.

The Sphinx is one of many sculptures in the garden of the Norman Lindsay Gallery and Museum. All were made by Norman Lindsay of concrete, on a metal frame. In the 1980’s many of the concrete sculptures were copied to protect them from environmental and physical damage. The copies were made of bronze, and the original works were moved inside the gallery. The sculptures were not given formal names by Lindsay, so the titles are merely descriptive.

A sphinx is a mythical creature with the head of a human and the body of a lion. In Greek tradition, it has the head of a human, the haunches of a lion, and sometimes the wings of a bird. Unlike the Greek sphinx, which was a woman, the Egyptian sphinx is typically shown as a man. In both traditions, sphinxes were thought of as guardians often flanking the entrances to temples. In European decorative art, the sphinx enjoyed a significant revival during the Renaissance. Sphinxes depictions are generally associated with architectural structures such as royal tombs or religious temples. The sphinx image also has been adopted into Masonic architecture.

Norman Lindsay was an Australian artist, etcher, sculptor, writer, editorial cartoonist, and scale modeller. Lindsay is regarded as one of Australia’s most celebrated artists, producing a vast body of work in different media.


Norman Lindsay

  • Name:              Norman Alfred William Lindsay
  • Born:                1879 – Creswick, Victoria
  • Died:                 1969 (aged 90) – Sydney, New South Wales
  • Nationality:     Australian
  • Notable Works:


“The best love affairs are those we never had.” Norman Lindsay



Photo Credit: By Tatyana Temirbulatova from Sydney, Australia (Norman Lindsay House Uploaded by berichard) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons