Historical information

Noel COUNIHAN (04 Oct 1913 - 05 Jul 1986)

This lino cut is the second largest version of Counihan's Laughing Christ series of linocuts from the 1970s. Janet McKenzie in her book 'Noel Counihan' (1986, p. 25) uses Counihan's quote in his description of the Laughing Christ series of art works:
"Once again the armies of the Western world were moving against people behind the image of Christ: they were Christian armies. The American and Australian armies in Vietnam had their chaplains with them and were slaughtering Buddhists, as well ironically enough, as Vietnamese Catholics".
Counihan's fury at the blood shed and massacre of war behind the image of Jesus is evident in his ironic portrayal of a Laughing Christ.
Was this what Jesus was about? Not likely!

This item is part of the Federation University Art Collection. The Art Collection features over 1000 works and was listed as a 'Ballarat Treasure' in 2007.

Description by Dr Susan Paterson

Physical description

Framed linocut, the second large version of the Laughing Christ series.

The linocut was commissioned by the Print Council of Australia for members' annual subscription and printed on Japanese paper by William Caulfield & Sons, Melbourne.