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