Napier WALLER, The man in black. Enlarge 1 /1


Penshurst, Victoria, Australia 1893 – Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 1972

  • Europe 1929-30

The man in black. 1925 Place made: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Materials & Technique: prints, ink; paper linocut, printed in colour inks, from multiple blocks Support: cream parchment paper
Manufacturer's Mark: no manufacturer’s mark.
Edition State: published state
Impression: 4/50
Edition: edition of 50; plus state proofs and experimental proofs

Primary Insc: Signed lower right below printed image in black pencil, 'M. Napier Waller'. Titled lower left below printed image in black pencil, 'No 4 50 proofs'.
Secondary Insc: no inscriptions.
Tertiary Insc: no inscriptions.
Dimensions: printed image 30.7 h x 17.6 w cm sheet (irregular) 35.9 h x 22.7 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1975
Accession No: NGA 75.98
  • Purchased by the Australian National Gallery, from Thirty Victoria Street, Sydney, 1975.

The early 1920s and 1930s were years of professional acclaim for both Napier Waller and his wife Christian. Napier had become a successful mural and mosaic artist and printmaker. In his linocut self-portrait The man in black, he posed himself in front of his commissioned mural for the State Library of Victoria. Christian published her book The Great Breath: A book of seven designs in 1932, containing a series of linocuts that received an enthusiastic response, and in 1929–30 they travelled together to England and Europe to study stained-glass design and production.

Roger Butler

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010
From: Anne Gray (ed), Australian art in the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2002