Full Record

The Museum and National Gallery Recent Additions Statuary Paintings
Record no:
10 February 1896
Kept:Press clippings book 2, p. 1


Since the Geological Museum was opened, at the end of last July, an
attendance of some five thousand visitors has been registered up to the
end of January. This is a very gratifying number, and the cause for

gratification is increased when it is known that of these fully four
thousand were persons who visited the Museum for the purpose of inspecting
the mineral specimens and for obtaining information regarding the mineral,
and more particularly auriferous, resources of the colony. With the
continued influx of fresh people, a still larger attendance for the second
six months may be looked for, and the interest which this shows can but be
an incentive to the committee, the curator and his staff in their efforts
to popularise the Museum, and by degrees to bring it into line with
similar institutions in the other parts of Australia.

To bring this about it is needless to say that something more than a
museum of geological and mineral specimens is necessary. Already the
Museum possesses collections, varying in size, of birds, animals,
ethnological and other exhibits, each of which may be regarded as the
nucleus of a larger and more representative collection, and the committee
are at work in the direction of enlarging these. At the present time they
have collectors engaged in procuring specimens of Western Australia fauna,
and their object is to obtain as full and perfect a collection of the
different species of local animal life as possible. To this they are
adding from time to time a number of foreign animals. and among the more
recent additions in the latter section may be mentioned a lion, gazelle,
antelope, chimpanzee, and several monkeys. Several of these, including the
lion, have been stuffed by the taxidermist, Mr. Lipfort, under the
supervision of the curator, Mr. B. H. Woodward, and the completed animals
mounted, and they appear to be very fine specimens indeed. These will be
advised from time to time.

In addition to this, the committee have commenced their collection of
paintings and statuary. They have purchased a few pictures, and several
others have been lent, and these form the nucleus of the future
collection. They have also procured several statues and busts, which,
together with the pictures, are placed in the small room at the end of the
Museum, which will form the gallery until the proper National Gallery
erected. It is the intention of the committee to add these almost
immediately. The “Calvert collection,” which at present consists of
paintings of Sir George Grey, Sir William C. F. Robinson, and Sir Malcolm
Fraser, presented by Mr. A. F. Calvert, is placed temporarily in one of
the committee rooms. Below we give a description of the statuary and
paintings, as supplied by Mr. Woodward.


Head of Apollo, from a Greek marble in the British Museum, London. The
fine head, which probably belonged to a statue, shows a decided advance
towards life-like and individual expression and the germ of a nobler
ideal. The square proportions and sharply cut lines are still archaic, but
the features have in them a certain stern majesty. The hair over the brow
is arranged in more natural locks, instead of the small snail-shell curls
of the olden type, and the back hair falls in separate tresses down the
back. In this head we see the type of Apollo after the time Kanachos. (500-
460 B.C.).

Diskobolos, after Myron.—Found in Hadrian's villa, now in the Vatican.
Marble. A copy much and incorrectly restored of the famous bronze original
by Myron (440 B.C.), a contemporary of Pheidias. The artist has chosen the
moment of pause and transition between two energetic actions, when the
disc-thrower has collected all his force for the supreme decisive effort,
and all his powers of body and mind are bent to the fullest stretch “like
a bow before the discharge of the arrow.” The face, as might be expected
in a work of this school, has little expression in it. It is of the
handsome refined type of the noble Greek youth, without emotion or
anxiety, but with the calm innocent look characteristic of the young
palestrite. The head, left arm, left leg and right hand are restored. The
head should be looking back, not forward, as is shown in a far superior
copy, called the “Diskobolos Massimi,” now belonging to Prince Lancelotti,
in Rome, and in the small bronze Diskobolos in the Antiquarium at Munich.
The right arm, too, though antique, has been worked over and disfigured.

The Aphrodite of Knidos (moulded specifically for the South Kensington
Museum from the marble statue in the Vatican).—Probably the best of
several copies of the illustrious work of Praxiteles, with whose ecstatic
praises antiquity rings so loudly. Pliny says of it: “Above all the works,
not only of Praxiteles, but in the whole world, is the Venus, to see which
many men have made the voyage to Knidos, and which was fashioned, as is
supposed, with the approbation of the Goddess herself.” The statue stood,
according to Lucian, in the centre of a small temple in a grove of myrtles
and other trees. The attitude of the Goddess is no doubt correctly given
on a coin of Knidos struck in honour Plautilla, the wife of Caracalla. The
action is one which, according to the practice of the higher Greek art,
carries the thoughts of the beholder both backwards and forwards. The last
garment is laid aside. In another moment the lovely apparition will be
lost to sight beneath the cooling wave. In one important respect the
Vatican figure is greatly superior to the otherwise chaste and beautiful
Munich copy, and to all others in that the look of the Goddess is not
directed to a distance but to the objects immediately immediately
surrounding her, by which the effect of unconscious innocence in her
noble, pure, and charming face is greatly enhanced. It is calculated also
to give us a high idea of the purity of the original work of Praxiteles,
which has so often been called in question. The left arm and the right
forearm, the left leg from the knee, and the right foot are restored.

The Apoxyomenos.—Found by Canina in 1849 in the Trasievere at Rome now in
the Braccio Nuovo of the Vatican. Marble. A copy of the famous bronze work
by Sysippos, which Agrippa brought from Greece to Rome. It represents a
young athlete in the act of “scraping himself” (Apoxyomenos) with the
strigil after a contest and, no doubt, a victory, in the arena. This
splendid and beautiful statue has all the characteristics of the manner
attributed to Sysippos. The head is small, the body slim and tall, and the
face is of the North Grecian or Macedonian type, and the nose, which rises
slightly at the end, is like that of the busts of Alexander the Great
himself, whose favour and patronage Sysippos enjoyed. The style of this
great work is perfectly free from all conventionalities, and shows that
the artist copied nature alone ; the hair especially is here thrown about
in the most easy and natural manner. The very nature of his occupation
implies a constant change of posture, and we see from the position of the
feet that the attitude is accidental and momentary, and one of a series of
graceful movements. The face, which is simple and agreeable, shows the
gentle satisfaction arising from successful labour. The Apoxyomenos is a
grand example of the genre style in its highest form.

Head of C. Julius Caesar.—B.C. 105-44. Probably from a statue. British

Bust Of Clytie, described in the British Museum official catalogue as
“unknown.” Probably an Empress of the Augustan period.


“An Old Woman” (dated 1634), by Rembrandt (Dutch 1607-1669). Copy. An old
lady, eighty-three years of age (as the inscription shows), painted by
Rembrandt when he was twenty-seven. His mother was from the first a
favourite sitter of his, and hence perhaps the affectionate fidelity with
which he always painted the wrinkled faces of old age.

“Springtime,” by George Pitt Morison. This picture was painted about nine
miles from Melbourne, at a place called Blackburn. The country in this
locality is mostly pastoral. Mr. Morison studied at Paris and also at
Madrid, and after his return to Melbourne he formed a brotherhood known as
the Blackburn school. This picture with another called “A break in the
bush” (lent to the Museum) was exhibited at the annual exhibition at
Melbourne, when it received a very favourable notice from the [?] critic.

“Dawn on the Yorkshire coast,” by Nelson Dawson. A sketch lent by the
curator. The pearly transparency of the atmosphere [must] appeal to all
lovers of the sea—and especially to those who are acquainted with the
fishing craft of the English coast—in the accurate drawing of which Mr.
Dawson excels. He is a well-known exhibitor in the Royal Academy and other
art galleries of London.

“Peaches” (1889), by Miss F. J. Bayfield, of Norwich, who has exhibited at
the Royal Academy and Royal British Artists, London, and the Liverpool
Autumn Exhibitions, and is one of the original members of the Norwich Art

“The English Dwarf” by Velasquez 1599-1660. A copy by Mr. G. Pitt Morison,
from the original, in the Prado Madrid, which was painted for Philip IV.
of Spain.
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