Lionel Lindsay was born in Creswick, Victoria, a member of the famous artistic Lindsay family. He is also known as a painter, printmaker, writer and critic. After early studies in Australia, Lindsay travelled in Europe, returning to Australia to work as a cartoonisVillustrator for the Bulletin.

The 1890s and 1900s were the heyday for illustrated periodicals in Australia, enabling Lionel and his brother Norman to earn a living while they continued to exhibit.

Lionel Lindsay revived both etching and woodgraving, and was a pioneer writer of monographs on Australian artists. He also exhibited regularly in Sydney and Melbourne.

He was an energetic and major influence on the development of Australian art, being widely read, an interesting conversationalist, an avid collector and an historian, a connoisseur and critic, and a long-term Trustee of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. He was knighted in 1941 for services to art.

Lindsay concentrated on barnyard and exotic birds for his themes, often combining them with animals and flowers, in an oriental delicacy of composition. Essentially a draughtsman, Lindsay found the differing textures of feather, quill, beak and claw, and the odd baroque forms of birds, interesting and challenging.

THE PELICAN, undated, was one of the engravings included in 21 Woodcuts, published in 1924, and must have been done before May, 1923, as an example from the original woodblock was included in an article by Ure Smith in Art and Australia of that month. This is an artist's proof, one of the proofs outside the edition, reserved for the artist.