State Library Victoria > La Trobe Journal

No 87 May 2011


Shane Carmody
The Naked Saint: Sir J. Edgar Boehm's St George and the Dragon

Mythic George

I am St. George, who from Old England Sprung
My famous name throughout the world has rung:
Many gory deeds and wonders I have known,
And made the giants tremble on their throne.1
Winston Churchill rose to speak. His audience was friendly although he was at the time something of an outcast given his views on appeasement. The occasion was a dinner to mark the feast of St George in the Guildhall in London in 1933, and an opportunity to be unashamedly English. Mindful of the microphones and the broadcaster he pondered what nervous anticipation he was provoking at the BBC given his contrary views; but he settled the anxiety of some listeners by suggesting he had a more important topic, St George and his dragon, albeit repeated under modern conditions:
St. George would arrive in Cappadocia, accompanied not by a horse, but by a secretariat. He would be armed not by a lance, but with several flexible formulas. He would of course be welcomed by the local branch of the League of Nations Union. He would propose a conference with the dragon – a Round Table Conference, no doubt – that would be more convenient for the dragon's tail. He would make a trade agreement with the dragon. He would lend the dragon a lot of money for the Cappadocian taxpayers. The maiden's release would be referred to Geneva, the dragon reserving all rights meanwhile. Finally St. George would be photographed with the dragon (inset the maiden).
Churchill's withering satire won from the assembled members of the Royal Society of Saint George rapturous applause and laughter. As the verse from a medieval mumming play at the head of this article shows the story of St George as a chivalrous, brave, victorious and very English saint had long and popular roots. It was collected by folklorist Gwen John from a group of boys in the coal mining districts of Derbyshire in 1921 and is evidence of an ancient tradition, one that normally had him clothed in armour as a crusader knight. How he came to be naked and on the forecourt of the Library is this story and it begins in a distant past.2
St George appears to have been an early Martyr, probably a Roman soldier, executed during the persecution of Diocletian in 303, with his place of burial in the strongest tradition being at or near Lydda, now Lod in contemporary Israel. This simple tale was embellished with George martyred with increasing ferocity no less than three times by an enraged ruler called Dacian, each time miraculously resurrected before being beheaded. In 495 Pope Gelasius in De Libris recipiendis rejected these myths as impossible to believe whilst praising George as one of those saints 'whose deeds are
known only to God'. He was wise to do so, for the cult of St George had given rise to shrines, churches and monasteries across the Eastern Empire.3
The myth persisted and his shrine at Lydda was a must see for pilgrims. One pilgrim, Bishop Arculphus was shipwrecked on the shores of Iona, and his accounts of the Holy Land including myths of St George were recorded by the Abbot Adomnán and sent to Bede at Jarrow. They were translated into Anglo-Saxon and expanded particularly in ælfric's Passion of St George dating from 1000, the time of the earliest English shrines and churches dedicated to the saint. The Norman Conquest reinforced this devotion. The Abbot Austrulph wrote an account of another fortuitous shipwreck around 740 where a casket containing relics and letters of attestation was washed ashore. Among these was the jawbone of St George and a church to house this treasure was built in Brix in Normandy the first of many dedicated to the saint.4
George's arrival in northern Europe coincided with the rise of Islam and his cult neatly continued in the new faith in the person of Al Khidr, or the Green Man. His shrines were a place of common intercession particularly in matters of fertility. This practice continues to this day, but was sorely tested through the crusades. The Normans and the English took St George as their patron with his cross of red on white, and stories of miraculous appearances at the head of the battle for Antioch in 1098 and the siege of Jerusalem in 1099 were added to his legend. St George at Jerusalem is used to illustrate a large fragment of a manuscript bible made at the Benedictine Abbey of St Bertin in St Omer around 1190 and the date of this manuscript is testament to the enduring appeal of the miraculous appearances especially in the wake of the fall of the city to Saladin in 1187.5
In England the feast of St George was raised to the highest status in 1222, and Edward III assured his place as a patron saint with the establishment of the Order of the Garter around 1348. Such courtly and chivalric use was reflected in popular culture. The traditions of St George were compiled in The Golden Legend, Readings on the Saints made by Jacopus de Voragine in the mid thirteenth century. Widely copied across Europe, its account of George tells the story of a Dragon terrorising a city, its very breath capable of spreading the plague. It was placated with beasts until all were gone, being replaced with children chosen by lot. This fate befell the princess and despite the King's pleas, she was led to her doom. Enter George who, under the sign of the Cross, subdues the dragon, leading it back to the city by the princess's girdle before cutting off its head. The entire populace convert to Christianity and despite the offer of half the wealth of the Kingdom, the noble, virginal saint rides off into the sunset. There follows the account of George's triple martyrdom and Voragine concludes with his appearances in the crusades. Similar stories appear in the surviving copies of Scottish and English Legendaries or lives of the saints. With the advent of printing, The Golden Legend was soon in many editions in many languages. The State Library of Victoria holds a complete copy printed in 1476 by Johann Sensenschmidt in Nuremberg and fragments from seven other examples including the 1493 reprint by Wynken de Worde of Caxton's English translation of 1483.

St George pursuing the Saracens at the Siege of Jerusalem.

Koninklijke Bibliotheek The Hague MS 76.

Reverse of Sovereign 1817 as designed by Benedetto Pistrucci.

Personal Medal for HRH Prince Albert as designed by William Wyon 1845.


Apocalypse. MS B. 10.2 detail Folio 22. Reproduced by kind permission of the Master and Fellows, Trinity College Cambridge.

Dante Gabriel Rosetti St George and the Dragon 1862. Reproduced by permission of theVictoria and Albert Museum.

Edward Burne-Jones The fight: St George kills the dragon VI, 1866. Oil on canvas 105.4 × 130.8cm. Gift of Arthur C. Moon in memory of his mother, Emma, born in Sydney 1860, daughter of John de Villiers Lamb 1950. Art Gallery of New South Wales.

This appeared in seven more editions up to 1527 when the publishing of such Catholic books became dangerous.6
The chronological ordering of the variant legends by Voragine gives the Dragon centre stage, and the largest part of the story. It is in fact the last of the myths added to St George and draws on Indo-European traditions, including Perseus and Andromeda, the story of the Spinning Maiden in the Persian Book of Kings, and older Babylonian creation myths. The Dragon is the animation of evil and an English example of the translation of St George to the great scriptural allegory of good and evil can be seen in an illustrated Apocalypse. St Michael is dressed as a crusader knight in the livery of St George while the Seven Headed Beast (drákön in the Greek text) is a dragon. The manuscript was at Westminster Abbey around 1390 and wall paintings copied from it survive in the Chapter House.7
St George is represented in Europe as an armoured knight, and examples of pre-Reformation religious art in Britain that survived the iconoclasm follow this convention. Evidence exists in the form of a coin of the high place of St George as a symbol of state. The gold Noble issued between 1526 and 1529 as part of Cardinal Wolsey's currency reform has St George on the obverse as a mounted knight spearing the Dragon and on the reverse the Ship of State with the cipher H and K for Henry and Katherine. The events of the King's divorce explain the rarity of the coin and while the feast of St George was demoted in the Reformation, Henry's piety, love of chivalry and use of the Garter as a form of patronage ensured that St George remained an English saint, and in literature he continued to thrive. Traditions like the Mumming Play found their mirror in the poetry of Spenser's Fairie Queene (1590) or more popular forms like the Famous Historie of the Seven Champions of Christendom (c.1596) by Richard Johnson, which told a very English story of St George and continued to be published well into the eighteenth century. In 1599 Shakespeare in the context of uncertain succession and a losing war in Ireland, drew on the memory of a famous victory and completed the reformation of St George as the personification of Crown and country in Henry V's great call to arms: 'Cry God for Harry, England and St George'.8


Classical George

Let Lord Aberdeen and Elgin still pursue
The shade of fame through regions of virtu;
Waste useless thousands on their Phidian freaks,
Misshapen monuments and maim'd antiques;
And make their grand saloons a general mart
For all the mutilated blocks of art . . .9
Edward Gibbon twice fell in love with Rome. The first was a brief affair, a student affectation, when he converted to Catholicism at Oxford. Cured by exile to Switzerland

Frontispiece to the first edition of An Account of the Worship of Priapus.

in the care of a Reformed Minister, his second infatuation began on his Grand Tour and lasted the rest of his life. Cupid's arrow struck 'on the fifteenth of October 1764 as I sat musing amidst the ruins of the Capitol while the barefoot fryars [sic] were singing Vespers in the Temple of Jupiter' and the product of this union was The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
The first volume was attacked by critics for its treatment of Christianity as being both an influence on and product of the decline, and it is in the second volume that Gibbon identifies a heretical fourth century Bishop of Alexandria as the historical St George. After describing his death at the hands of a mob, Gibbon concluded thus:
The odious stranger, disguising every circumstance of time and place, assumed the mark of a martyr, a saint, and a Christian hero; and the infamous George of Cappadocia has been transformed into the renowned St George of England, the patron of arms, of chivalry, and of the garter.
Gibbon's empirical view of Christianity explains his dismissal of George, but later scholars identified a credible, earlier veneration of the Saint and this attempt at a literary iconoclasm failed to take hold.10
The second and third volumes of Decline and Fall were written and published as Britain became enmeshed in a losing war with the American colonies, challenging its
imperial ambitions. The last volumes were published just before the French Revolution and the upheaval of both events gave the moral of Gibbon's story a contemporary relevance: the corruption of commerce and the allure of its consort luxury had destroyed the virtue of the Roman Empire; while the rise of Napoleon with his adoption of the style and symbols of ancient Rome celebrated its militarism and dictatorship. In Britain the minds of the artistic community, the literary and gentlemen intellectuals, turned to Classical Greece as the touchstone of permanent values linked to more attractive ideals of the aristocratic democracy of the Athens of Pericles.11
Since 1732 the Society of Dilettanti had fostered a gentlemanly intellectual interest in Greek art and culture but war gave more immediate opportunities. The defeat of the French Fleet at the Battle of the Nile in 1798 and the eventual expulsion of Napoleon from Egypt in 1801 won favours for Britain from the Ottoman Empire. The Ambassador to Constantinople, Thomas Bruce, Earl of Elgin and of Kirkaldine, took advantage of the change in atmosphere to obtain a firman from the Ottoman government to the Governor of Athens permitting explorations at the Acropolis. Elgin had proposed an artistic mission be funded by the British government as part of his embassy, and when this was refused he funded it, pursuing his interest in classical Greece intending to use resulting drawings and casts 'to improve the Arts in Great Britain'. Now his agent, Philip Hunt, used the firman and bribes to further this ambition, excavating the Acropolis and removing sculptures from the Parthenon and surrounding buildings. After two years the assembled treasure accompanied Elgin on his return journey but Napoleon had him imprisoned, attempting to extract the sculptures to add to his war booty in the Louvre in return for his release. Elgin finally returned to London in 1806 placing the sculptures in a temporary gallery in his house. Their display divided opinion. Byron castigated their removal from the Acropolis as an act of vandalism, while artists, especially the Royal Academy, praised them as the finest examples of classical art. Deeply in debt, Elgin attempted to sell the collection to the State, but negotiations dragged on, affected by the changing fortunes of the war.12
Waterloo changed everything. Britain emerged triumphant and as gifts of dinner services and art made their way to London from grateful monarchs for the Duke of Wellington, so too did artists and sculptors in search of new patrons. One such refugee was Benedetto Pistrucci. Born in Rome in 1783, Pistrucci showed early talent as a gem engraver and sculptor and Napoleon's sisters were among his patrons. On arrival he was introduced to Sir Joseph Banks, then president of the Royal Society. Banks employed him to make a bust and while sitting for Pistrucci, was interrupted by his friend Richard Payne Knight, a wealthy gentleman member of Parliament and prominent member of the Dilettanti. He rose to prominence with his seminal work An Account of the Remains of the worship of Priapus in 1786, and from this unlikely beginning developed his collection of antiquities and place as a critic, sealing his pre-eminence with the 1805 publication of An Analytical Enquiry into the Principles of Taste. His visit to Banks was to show his latest purchase, the finest antique cameo in existence. Pistrucci proved that he in fact
had made it and this revelation made him. Knight and Banks promoted his genius and he was appointed by William Wellesley-Pole, Master of the Royal Mint and older brother of the Duke of Wellington, to the position of Chief Engraver, over the head of William Wyon who was given the lesser position of Assistant Engraver. The Wyon family had held the position of Chief Engraver for successive generations and this snub, keenly felt, combined with Pistrucci's foreign origins to become the source of bitter controversy.13
Meanwhile Elgin frustrated with his lack of success in selling his collection to the British Museum, petitioned Parliament to investigate his acquisition of the marbles, his right to their property, and the price at which they should be acquired for the nation. The government, mindful that the Crown Prince of Bavaria had placed a large sum in a London bank to secure them, agreed, and in February and March 1816 a Select Committee sat to hear evidence on the matter. It became a debate over artistic merit, and Richard Payne Knight's dismissive opinions were countered by impressive arguments from members of the Royal Academy, a turning point for professionals over gentlemen amateurs in matters of taste. The Report recommended purchase at £35,000, less than half of what Elgin had spent, and concluded that Elgin had acted with the consent of the Turkish government and tacit consent from the Greek population '. . . so far from exciting any unpleasant sensation, the people seemed to feel it as the means of bringing foreigners into their country, and having money spent amongst them'. The final paragraph of the report reveals a political motivation. Noting how the small republic of Athens had achieved greatness in science, literature and philosophy the Committee concluded:
. . . no country can be better adapted than our own to afford an honourable asylum to these monuments to the school of Phidias, and of the administration of Pericles; where secure from further injury or degradation, they may receive that admiration and homage to which they are entitled, and serve in return as models and examples to those, who by knowing how to revere and appreciate them, may learn first to imitate and ultimately to rival them.
The marbles were to be an exemplar for the administration of the nation as much as inspiration for its artists.14
Pistrucci was commissioned to engrave a medal to commemorate the purchase, and while this was never cast, another design was to have wider and lasting influence. Britain had temporarily abandoned the gold standard during the Napoleonic wars, and the coinage had deteriorated. A new gold sovereign was planned, and Pistrucci suggested St George and the Dragon for the reverse to symbolise the victory over Napoleon. The design of the coin drew on his earlier cameos and showed the influence of the Elgin Marbles, especially the Parthenon frieze. Pistrucci transformed St George from an armoured knight to a naked athlete, reputedly modelled on an Italian servant at Brunet's Hotel in Leicester Square, and George the Greek replaced George the Roman, with the perfection of the naked human form, normally reserved for pagan deity transferred to Christian sanctity, marking a high point in British Hellenism. The image was encircled with that most English symbol, the Garter, replete with its motto Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.15
The coin was first issued in 1817 and the accession to the throne of George IV in 1821 saw some minor changes including replacing a broken spear with a short sword and the removal of the garter. Meanwhile tensions at the mint continued to simmer. Pistrucci was commissioned to design a medal to commemorate Waterloo for presentation in gold to the four coalition monarchs and in silver to Wellington and Blucher. The payment of £1,750 was enough to excite jealousy, but it was his refusal to copy portraits by other artists that brought him undone. Wellesley Pole resigned as Master of the Mint in 1823 and the new Master, Thomas Wallace made Pistrucci Chief Medallist, replacing him with William Wyon as Chief Engraver. Neither was happy, as Wallace simply combined the salary of both the old Chief and Assistant Engraver positions and divided it equally for the new roles. Wyon took revenge on the reverse of the sovereign. St George and his dragon were banished, replaced with a more conventional heraldic shield. Pistrucci took revenge by spinning out his commission on the Waterloo medal, doubling his original fee. By the time the dies were complete in 1844, only Wellington was still alive. Considered by many the finest medal ever designed it was never cast in its intended gold and silver forms.
Taste was changing and neo-gothic was replacing neo-classical. The reviewer in the Gentleman's Magazine of the Memoir of the Life of William Wyon, ridiculed Pistrucci's St George and his short broad sword as 'a weapon totally useless against his fell antagonist; indeed the hero appears rather to be thwacking the flanks of his affrighted horse with a bat or a battledore, than assailing his enemy'. He argued that if 'reverses strictly heraldic should occasionally be abandoned, and the Patron of the Garter appear on our coin, he should be encased in the armour which the middle age assigned for him'. The decision to rebuild the Palace of Westminster in Neo-Gothic marked this turning point in architecture, and Albert, Prince Consort to the new Queen Victoria, chaired the commission charged with its interior decoration. His association with the Gothic Revival belies a broader interest, for in 1844 he privately commissioned William Wyon to design a St George medal. Albert sat for his portrait for the obverse and Wyon, showing none of Pistrucci's sensibilities over copying, adapted his rival's design for the reverse in a reprise of classical St George. At 23 centimetres in diameter, the medal is much larger than the sovereign, giving Wyon's St George a more sculptural form and the active thrust of the spear into the Dragon created more drama and life.16
Wyon exhibited the models for the medal at the Royal Academy in 1844 and the finished medal in 1845. There is evidence that Albert chose it as a present for his eleven closest collaborators in the Great Exhibition of 1851 but only one was struck in gold and given to Sir Charles Dilke (first Baronet) as Wyon died in that year. Pistrucci died four years later and in art St George returned to gothic form. Dante Gabriel Rossetti designed a set of stained glass windows retelling the legend of St George made by Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Co. in 1862. His St George is a smooth and beautiful English youth modelled on the artist Charles Augustus Howell and shown in battle with a Dragon replete with a hairy belly and chest! His brother Pre-Raphaelite Edward Burne-
Jones made a series of seven paintings between 1866 and 1867 on the same theme for the dining room of his fellow artist Myles Birkett Foster. This St George appears effete in his youthfulness fighting an almost puny Dragon and was inspired by a 16th century woodcut in the British Museum. Both depictions followed Richard Johnson's account in The Seven Champions and have the saint in more personal combat, but it is a different personal combat that saw the return of the classical St George.17
In 1871 the sovereign was reissued with Pistrucci's design on the reverse. Modified by Leonard Wyon, son of William, the reappearance of the Grecian athlete marked a new interest in a more physical culture. Thomas Arnold's reforms of Rugby School, his son Matthew's promotion of the Greek ideal, and the promotion of a 'muscular Christianity' by Charles Kingsley and Thomas Hughes combined personal male prowess with Christian mission, where the battles of Empire could be rehearsed on the playing fields of the English public school. St George was enlisted to this Imperial cause on the standard on which its wealth was based, and in a mark of its reach a branch of the Royal Mint was established in Sydney in 1871 and then in Melbourne in 1872 to be closer to the source of gold. Not everyone shared enthusiasm for the new order. John Ruskin, spiritual father of the Pre-Raphaelites, despaired of the depersonalising, fragmenting society increasingly evident in industrial Britain. In 1871 he founded the Guild of St George to support more craft based, personal and sincere forms of production, beginning his long correspondence of ninety-six letters known as Fors Clavigera to 'the workmen and labourers of Great Britain' in which St George recurs time and again in his familiar form as the champion of good against evil. His advocacy supported a return to handcraft in printing, furniture design and fabrics at odds with an increasingly mechanised world.18


Art and Industry or a Tale of Two Statues

What the hard worked man of business . . . is entitled to demand of the Artist in this whirling age of Steam and Telegraph, is that he should provide relief, relaxation, refreshment for the wearied spirit, worn with the carking cares of this life, sick of its ever recurring sameness, its petty aggravations, its continual round of toil and trouble, in which he is perpetually involved by the inevitable curse of his kind. From all of this the Artist, be he poet, painter or player, is held exempt by the rest of the community, that he may have leisure and opportunity to search for the Sublime, to study the Beautiful, and seek after the True . . . 19
The Annual Royal Academy of Arts Exhibition for 1876 opened amid controversy and portents of change. Sir Coutts Lindsay and his wealthy wife Blanche had announced their intention of establishing in 1877 a rival exhibition at the Grosvenor Gallery, and Sir Charles Dilke (second Baronet) had set a motion for debate in Parliament over the failure of the Academy to fulfil the recommendations of the Royal Commission of 1863. The fight was over power and privilege. Established in 1768 by George III to promote design through exhibition and education, the Academy was self-funded, although a 999-

Joseph Edgar Boehm from The Magazine of Art Illustrated 1880 p. 333.

J. E. Boehm St George and the Dragon 1876 from The Magazine of Art Illustrated 1880 p. 337.

year lease on Burlington House at £1 per annum was significant public support. By 1876 it had become an effective cartel. The forty-two Academy members could by right show up to eight works in the Annual Exhibition, and after they and their Associate Members had taken the best positions the opportunity for others was limited. The glittering banquet to open the Exhibition, held on or near St George's Day, was an opportunity for artists to impress themselves on patrons and in 1876 three princes, a Maharajah, members of the aristocracy and the Archbishop of Canterbury sat either side of the President, Sir Francis Grant. Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli was called upon to speak. Conscious of the debate raging he flattered his audience by suggesting that politicians had little to offer artists, asserting to cheers that 'by Fine Arts public taste is created and taste is an important element in the character of a nation', before proceeding to list the achievements of government in shaping such taste. The National Gallery, and the presence of 140 art schools across the country were given as examples and from these 'it is no exaggeration to say we may expect very considerable results as regards the national taste and manufacturing skills'. Disraeli's passive view of Art as a moral and practical influence on the manufacturing wealth of the nation, contrasted with Dilke who sought wider participation, greater public involvement and a more open administration of the Academy. Dilke's motion failed drawing the comment from the Times that 'Complaints have existed in every country against any similar Institution; but on the whole, the public are satisfied with the administration of the English Academy'.20
One artist exhibiting in 1876 who may have had reason for dissatisfaction was Joseph Edgar Boehm. Born in Vienna in 1834, his father was director of the Imperial

St George's Hall, Philadephia.

mint and owner of a substantial art collection. Early education was followed by a period at Art School in London, where he sketched the Elgin Marbles, later returning to Vienna to study medal design and follow his father's career. Rejecting this path he spent three years in Paris and was influenced by the work of realist sculptors, returning to London, newly married, in 1862. He established a portraiture practice achieving early notice for a small sculpture of William Makepeace Thackeray which showed the novelist in contemporary costume and an informal pose breaking with the neo-classical toga draped forms prevalent at the time. His prolific output included animal sculpture, especially horses in which he excelled. In 1869 he carved a marble portrait of Victoria for Windsor Castle, and began accepting private commissions from the Queen and training Princess Louise in sculpture. Boehm first exhibited at the Royal Academy in the year of his arrival in London, and was a regular in the annual exhibition. In 1875 he exhibited to great acclaim his portrait sculpture of Thomas Carlyle, with whom he had formed a close friendship.
Despite success Boehm was passed over for Associate membership of the Academy, the prerequisite for full membership. Professional jealousy over his Royal commissions, combined with his foreign origins is the probable cause with Thomas Woolner as his main opponent. Boehm's contribution in 1876 was the great St George and the Dragon. Modelled in plaster it was a speculative venture, without an obvious patron. The choice of an idealised subject following so closely on his success with the realist Carlyle was a public statement that his range extended beyond portraiture and a claim for recognition by the Academy. From surviving correspondence with Carlyle it is clear that Boehm

Lord Frederic Leighton 'An Athlete Wrestling with a Python', white marble, 178 cm height.

Photo © Art Gallery of New South Wales, courtesy John Schaeffer Collection.

was seeking to represent a great struggle, but the work was hardly original. He revisited an earlier horse sculpture for St George's mount, and the group is strikingly similar to the medal commissioned by Prince Albert from William Wyon; scarcely known to the public but known to Boehm by virtue of his Royal connections. Whatever the intent or inspiration, the critics and the Academy remained unmoved by Boehm's excursion to the neo-classical.21
While Art and politics and the politics of art mixed unhappily in Britain, across the Atlantic a more celebratory air prevailed. As Parliament was debating Dilke's motion, the great Centennial International Exhibition in Philadelphia was declared open. Conceived in the aftermath of the Civil War it was a statement of national confidence one hundred years after the Declaration of Independence. Seven months and over ten million visitors later, the Exhibition closed, with the editor of the Philadelphia Enquirer reflecting that:
For the first time in our history we became hosts to the civilised world, and
challenged all countries to place their productions side by side with ours. In many cases when art entered into the subject of competition, the Old World had the better of the New. But in other cases we not only held our own against our older rivals, but excelled them. We have seen what they can do, they have seen what we can do, and the results of such seeing cannot but be beneficial to the peoples of both worlds, giving each more respect for the other.
As a sign of respect for the old enemy, the British exhibits occupied a central section in the main hall at the Exhibition and the Birmingham manufacturer Elkington and Company was prominent. Beginning in the 1830s, the firm perfected electroplating in 1840 and with this new technology capitalised on a growing middle class and expanding empire in need of tableware. By 1876 the firm was a perfect example of the meeting of Art and Industry desired by Disraeli with fine reproductions of antiques held by the British and South Kensington museums, and elaborate centrepieces, trophies and sculptures added to their range. Their display was accompanied by a handsome publication with a glowing account by the pre-eminent journalist George Augustus Sala, and in the opinion of one observer they were '. . . the gem of the British Exhibit. Some splendid bronzes are included in it and one may pass hours inspecting the objects displayed by this enterprising firm, whose exhibit is valued by the London Times at $500,000'.22
The display caught the eye of the officers of The Society of the Sons of St George, Philadelphia. Established on 23 April 1772 for '. . . the advice and assistance of Englishmen in distress', its early progress was interrupted by the War of Independence and after an intermission of eleven years the Society reformed with membership limited to men of English origin or descent and counting Benjamin Franklin among their number. By the time of its centenary in 1872, the Society was confident enough to seek permanent and grand premises. The purchase of a large mansion for $70,000 in February 1875 on the corner of Thirteenth and Arch Streets met this desire, and after improvements costing a further $149,356, including the addition of a grand Ionic portico, the building was dedicated on the Feast of St George in 1876.
On the night following the opening of the Exhibition, the Hall was the venue for a banquet hosted by Sir Edward Thornton, British Ambassador to the United States, together with the British Commissioners, including Sir Redmond Barry as Commissioner for the Colony of Victoria, in honour of the President and Vice-President of the United States, members of the Administration and Dom Pedro II, Emperor of Brazil. For all its grandeur, the officers of the Society clearly felt the Hall lacked ornament, for they placed an order with Elkington's for a bronze of St George, and in May the following year a sculpture depicting the Saint in battle with the Dragon, after Pistrucci's design, was placed on top of the new Portico.23
Two monumental nude St George sculptures appeared in the space of a year. While Boehm's owed a debt to William Wyon's design it was made in the name of high art, and remained in plaster; whereas the Philadelphia St George mimicking Pistrucci's design and made by an unknown artist was cast in bronze as a product of industry. Both are
testimony to revival of the classical George on the principal coin of the realm and its wide acceptance as the familiar image of the Saint.
In the Royal Academy Exhibition of 1877 another male nude sculpture representing struggle was shown, this time to great acclaim. Sir Frederic Leighton's Athlete Wrestling with a Python was an instant success, purchased by the Chantry Bequest for the National collection, and exhibited the following year in Paris at the Exposition Universelle where it won a gold medal. Leighton's nude, charged with eroticism, introduced naturalism and energy and while owing a debt to Laocoön and his Sons, it broke free from staid neoclassicism becoming the first of what became known as 'New Sculpture' suggesting that Boehm's St George from the previous year may be the last of the 'old'. Leighton's success was crowned in 1878 with his election as President of the Royal Academy, and he used this position to meet the challenge of the Grosvenor Gallery by revitalising Academy membership. His friend Boehm became one of the new Associates and took another step forward in December 1880 with his appointment as Sculptor in Ordinary to the Queen. The office had been unoccupied since 1864 and the appointment formalised what had become a near monopoly in private Royal commissions. In 1882 Boehm was finally elected a full member of the Academy.24
Boehm's increasing stature was recognised in a profile written by Wilfred Meynell for the Magazine of Art Illustrated in 1880, and his first lectures as a Member of the Academy were published in The Architect in 1882. Taken together they give some insight into his thinking. Meynell describes Boehm's art as that of a 'man of his time . . . neither an imitator of the antique, nor an ultra realist' and quotes his disdain for the brilliantly executed depictions of poverty and frailty favoured by Italian sculptors. Meynell continues: 'According to Mr. Boehm, we cannot be Greeks, for we have no mythology. Our art must be Christian and modern' and quotes Boehm decrying mere copying of the classical style or its famous works while praising his contemporary portraiture. In his lectures entitled 'Portraiture in Sculpture' Boehm's historical account praises the Greek as the high point of the classical with everything that imitated this derided. The Dilettante are dismissed as '. . . a pernicious and odious parasite, as desirable to be exterminated in the fields of Art as the Colorado beetle or Phylloxera in the fields of Nature', and Canova's famous nude depiction of Napoleon as Mars the Peacemaker is ridiculed and likened to an African chief wearing a militiaman's Busby and spring side boots as proof of his heroism. Meynell's article has two illustrations of Boehm's work: a small engraving of his memorial portrait of Lord John Russell, exhibited at the Academy in 1880; and a full page engraving of St George and the Dragon, still extant in plaster. St George was clearly an important part of his oeuvre to that time, modern because of the familiar image on the sovereign and given its Christian subject acceptable in its neo-classicism.25
Boehm's St George and the Dragon reappeared at the Royal Academy Exhibition in 1885, this time as a bronze. It was not a commission and Boehm's investment in casting suggests he still liked it, as well as reflecting the fact that he was very busy. He was in his sixth year of a protracted design of a new effigy of Queen Victoria for the
coinage, had begun work on a memorial to the first Duke of Wellington to be placed at Hyde Park Corner and in October accepted a commission from the Government of New South Wales for a new sculpture of the Queen, all of these competing with numerous smaller commissions. The Times expressed disappointment at the standard of sculpture in the 1885 Academy, particularly from younger artists, but expressed satisfaction that 'Mr Boehm has given us, as might be expected, a fine horse and a spirited St George'. Other critics were less charitable with Edmund Gosse perceptively suggesting that the group was based on a small sketch and 'mechanically enlarged to its present bigness' and F. T. Palgrave deriding the figure of St George as:
. . . well poised in torso and limbs, a figure which might have alighted from a steed in the Elgin frieze, disports himself overmuch as a dandy; if dressed he might adorn a drawing room, but, here in the nude, as if ready for the circus, he is not a saint, nor quite a sinner.
St George found no buyer, and Boehm continued to recycle works. In 1887 a life sized marble version of an earlier smaller bronze Young Bull and Herdsman appeared at the Royal Academy. This work dates to 1868 and in 1871 Boehm exhibited a life sized plaster at the London International Exhibition advertising that a plaster copy could be had for £500 and a bronze for £1000. There were no takers then, and the later marble version with mixed reviews, remained unsold. A new opportunity to exhibit and market both sculptures presented itself in Melbourne with the Centennial Exhibition of 1888 and both works joined paintings, drawings and other sculptures that formed the British Art Exhibition at that momentous event.26
In their report to the Queen, the British Commissioners for the Exhibition explained that in addition to the vast array of manufactures to be exhibited they were mindful of 'the growing appreciation of works of art that distinguishes Your Majesty's Australian subjects' and after serious consideration they concluded 'that nothing would be so likely to promote the general success of the Exhibition as an exceptionally good collection of works of art'. After a grant of £5000 from the Melbourne Committee defraying the costs of crating, freight and insurance the collection of 174 paintings, 163 drawings, 264 engravings and etchings and 6 sculptures made their way to Melbourne. The Exhibition opened on the first of August 1888 with the British Art Exhibition given pride of place in the upper gallery of Joseph Reed's great main building. Similar exhibits from France, Germany and Belgium were displayed in the annexes that covered much of what is now Carlton Gardens.
Boehm's sculptures were too heavy to join the rest of the British exhibits and were placed in the main transept close to the Dome. They were featured in an article in the Argus of 11 September 1888 with an illustration of the Young Bull and Herdsman as an example of his realism. The St George was seen as evidence of his recognition of the 'grandeur of the antique spirit in plastic art' having all 'the monumental impressiveness if not of the old Greek sculpture, so full of energetic action where conflicts had to be represented' then perhaps equal to 'the works produced in Italy at the time of the
Renaissance', and an engraving of the work featured in the Illustrated Australian News in the same week. If the newspapers were quick to report, Boehm was even quicker to sell. The minutes of the meeting of the Trustees of the Public Library, Museums and National Gallery of Victoria held on the 22 August 1888 record: 'A letter from Mr Boehm describing the Bull and Herdsman and the St George exhibited at the Exhibition was laid on the table' with the resolution 'the groups to be purchased for £2000'.27
Eighteen-eighty-eight was a good year for Boehm in the colonies. In January the sculpture of the Queen commissioned for Sydney was unveiled before a crowd of 50 000 and to rapturous praise, despite Boehm having breached a condition of the commission by making a replica of the same figure for Balmoral Castle. But by November and in driving rain, his fortunes had turned. The monument to the first Duke of Wellington was unveiled and the critical response was muted. Boehm's attempts to please the many interests on the Committee resulted in a lifeless figure on a static mount with four soldiers representing England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales added, and looking, like an afterthought. Combined with the derision that greeted his portrait of the Queen for the Jubilee coinage in the previous year, his reputation suffered and with it his health. His elevation to a Baronetcy in 1889 indicated continuing Royal favour, but the death of his wife in September 1890 added to his burdens and he died suddenly on 12 December in the same year. Princess Louise was present at his death and inconsolable, sparking vicious gossip about their relationship, leading to the destruction of all of his papers, and despite a funeral and burial in St Paul's, his place in the history of English sculpture soon faded to obscurity.28


St George and St Joan

An old joke: One dark night the planets aligned and the sculptures on the forecourt of the Library came to life. Redmond Barry went off in search of female company and St George and St Joan dismounted and stood looking at each other. 'Are you thinking what I'm thinking?' said George, 'Yes' said Joan and they set off to some bushes where much groaning ensued. As dawn broke they resumed their positions. Years later the planets aligned again and once more the two saints stood looking at each other. 'Shall we do it again?' said George, 'Yes' said Joan 'but this time you hold the Pigeon and I'll crap on it'.
The afterlife of acquisitions is often as interesting as their arrival. The Society of the Sons of St George retained ownership of their Hall until 1896 staying as tenants until 1902. They moved to a less grand building on Nineteenth and Arch Streets, and the statue moved with them, installed over the entrance. In 1923 they moved again, and the statue, removed at a cost of $3000, was placed in storage, all but forgotten until it was presented to the City of Philadelphia in 1975. Installed in parkland on Martin Luther King Drive at Black Road, it is an unlikely commemoration of the Bicentennial of Independence. Back in Melbourne Boehm's St George was installed after the 1888 Centennial Exhibition
on a plain rectangular plinth on the north side of the sloping lawn in front of the Library, and the Young Bull and Herdsman took its place in the sculpture rotunda between the main building and the 1867 Exhibition Hall. The classical symmetry of Joseph Reed's great fa¸ade of the Library demanded a partner, and in November 1890, the Trustees resolved to call for designs within Australia for a companion sculpture with a first prize of £200 and second prize of £100.

St George and the Drago, Philadelphia, present location. Photograph courtesy of

At their meeting in the following July the Trustees considered the sixteen entries. It was an extraordinary list of subjects, many from 'sculptors' who have escaped record in any of the annals of Australian art and sadly with them illustrations of their entries. Two St Michaels jostled for attention with St Martin and the Beggar; a sculpture entitled 'The Amazon Slaying a Lion' competed with one called Archilles Slaying the Amazon' and continuing the mythical theme G. R. Davies entry of 'Pygmalion and Galatea' contrasted with the recommendation of 'a lover of art' that the sculpture represent 'Androcoles and the Lion'. Nationalist themes like 'Australasia' or 'Advance Australia' contrasted with the abstract 'In Articulo Mortis', and the enterprising R. Kretschman entered 'Lady Godiva', 'Coeur de Lion' and An Australian Pioneer'. Charles B. Richardson, a recognised artist, also suggested this latter theme and a photograph of his maquette showing a stockman with his hand sheltering his brow astride a squatting horse survives in an article about his work in the Magazine of Art.29
Faced with a cornucopia of the banal, the Trustees resolved to award only the second prize and this dubious distinction was bestowed on Bertram Mackennal, close friend of Richardson, for 'The Triumph of Truth'. Mackennal's career was just taking off following a depressing few months in England where he shared a flat with Richardson and Tom Roberts and attended the Sculpture School of the Royal Academy. He returned to Australia for his first public commission of relief sculptures for the fa¸ade of the Victorian Parliament and the Library competition presented a chance for an idealised sculpture. His proposal was a careful contrapuntal design to mirror the spiral that defines Boehm's St George, an extraordinary creation as described in the Illustrated Australian News:
Truth is represented as a female figure seated on a winged horse which is in the act of ascending, while Error, defeated, lies prostrate on the ground. An image of
Victory poised on an orb, and sustaining the laurel crown, is held aloft by Truth, and symbolises the triumph which has been achieved.
In the view of the journalist '. . . the figures are admirably modeled, and the group as a whole displays both vigour and artistic taste'. No less than Sarah Bernhardt agreed as quoted in the Argus of 11 July: 'If Mr Mackennal will take this model to Paris – he is buried alive here – and will execute it life size in marble or bronze it will place him on the high road to fame and fortune. The work is simply magnificent in taste, composition, arrangement and executive skill'. Mackennal took her advice and left for Paris where Circe rather than Triumph of Truth made his reputation. Tom Roberts revived the controversy in a remonstrance about the failure of the Trustees to support Australian artists, but despite this St George remained alone.30
The Felton Bequest for the purchase of works of art gave the means to acquire a companion. Lindsay Bernard Hall, Director of the Gallery on the first buying trip abroad met Emmanuel Frémiet and after considering his sketch for a Perseus and Andromeda and the possibility of his St George which Hall thought would make a 'most novel and interesting contrast', settled on a variant of his Jeanne D'Arc. The variation was required for Frémiet to keep bare faith with his 1889 contract with the Philadelphia Museum of Art which has a copy, not to further reproduce this work, and in 1906 a fifth casting in a third variation was installed at the front of the Library. The plinth was modelled on the original Jeanne D'Arc in the Place des Pyramides in Paris, and St George was given one to match with the sculptures placed on the paved apron in front of the portico. In 1938 the forecourt was redesigned and the two sculptures were soon at the top of new diagonal steps where they remain. Boehm's other work The Young Bull and Herdsman was not so lucky, falling victim to the 1941 purge of unwanted art under Daryl Lindsay, condemned to a ruinous outdoor existence at the Melbourne Show grounds. Its image remains a ghost in the Library in the bull and boy in the 1929 Napier Waller mural Peace after Victory at the top of the Dome marble stairs. Perhaps in an echo of Lindsay's taste, early representations of Roy Ground's fa¸ade of the new National Gallery on St Kilda Road showed Frémiet's Jeanne D'Arc standing in lone vigil, but whatever the separating dreams of architects, St George and St Joan have remained together.31
An unlikely couple. Some see significance in the partnering of patron saints of England and France, while the story of the naked saint would suggest otherwise. Conceived as the symbol of English victory over France he is a challenge to the Maid of Orleans burned at the stake by English Catholics for witchcraft. St George has inspired artists. Peter Corlett recalls on leaving the Museum as a boy being struck by the statue and the fact that someone had made it, beginning his path to a career as a sculptor. But a more modern inspiration gives the pairing a new significance. Viewed from behind Boehm's St George is a harmony of spheres, with the perfect muscularity of the naked saint paired with a cross-dressing St Joan to symbolise a Gay and Lesbian Melbourne, a world their creators and champions could not have conceived.

Rear view of the statue of St George in the forecourt of the State Library of Victoria. Photograph by David Marks.


'The Derbyshire Mumming Play of St. George and the Dragon: or, as it is sometimes called the Pace Egg', as collected by Gwen Jones and published in Folklore, vol. 2, no. 3, September 1921, pp. 181-193.


Robert Rhodes James, ed., Winston S. Churchill: his complete speeches, 1897-1963, New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1974, vol. 5, pp. 5267 – 5268. I am indebted to the Hon. Jim Carlton for drawing my attention to the speech.


Giles Morgan, St George Harpenden, Hertfordshire: Pocket Essentials, 2006, pp. 20-21. St George in Catholic Online, consulted 13 January 2010.


Giles Morgan, St George, p. 34. Michael Collins, 'St George' at, consulted 13 January 2010. David Woods, 'Arculph's Luggage: the sources for Adomnán's De Locis Sanctis' Ériu, vol. 52, 2002, pp. 25-52., Samantha Riches, St George, Hero, Martyr and Myth, Phoenix Mill, Stroud: Sutton Publishing, 2005, pp. 11, 18-21.


The Hague, KB, 76 F 5 Picture Bible (prefatory cycle preceding a Psalter?). Added texts: Prayers, in Latin. Enseignement, in French (ff. 21-33). Huon de Saint-Quentin, Complainte de Jérusalem contre la Cour de Rome (ff. 45v, 1v) St. Omer, Abbey of St. Bertin, Benedictines; c. 1190-1200 c. 1290-1300. William Dalrymple, From the Holy Mountain, London: Harper Perennial, 2005, pp. 45-47; 338-344. The current shrine to St George in modern day Lod has a mosque next door in honour of Al Khidr and readers can visit these through the magic of YouTube See


Jacobus de Voragi, The Golden Legend: readings on the Saints, translated by William Granger Ryan, Princeton: Princeton University Press 1993, pp. 238 - 242. Giles Morgan, St George, pp. 33-4; Michael Collins 'St George'. Thomas R. Liszka, 'The Dragon in the "South English Legendary": Judas, Pilate and the "A 1" Reaction', Modern Philology, vol. 100, no. 1 August 2002, pp. 50-59. E. Gordon Whatley, Anne B. Thompson, Robert K. Upchurch, 'St George and the Dragon in the South English Legendary (East Midland Revision c. 1400)', consulted at on 6 April 2010.


Kinga Ilona Márkus-Takeshita, 'From Iranian Myth to Folk Narrative: the legend of the Dragon Slayer and the Spinning Maiden in the Persian Book of Kings', Asian Folklore Studies, vol. 60, 2001, pp. 203-14. Nigel Morgan, 'The Apocalypse', Cambridge Trinity College MS B.10.12. Item 10 in Bronwyn Stocks and Nigel Morgan, eds, The Medieval Imagination: Illuminated Manuscripts from Cambridge, Australia and New Zealand, Melbourne: Macmillan Art Publishing and State Library of Victoria, 2008, pp. 42-43.


James Bugslag, 'St Eustace and St George: crusading saints in the sculpture and stained glass of Chartres Cathedral', Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, 66 bd, h. 4, 2003, pp. 441-464.
E. S. G Robinson, 'Two English Gold Coins', British Museum Quarterly, vol. 16, no. 2, April 1951, pp. 41-42. Giles Morgan, St George, p. 103. James Shapiro, 1599: a year in thelLife of William Shakespeare, London: Faber and Faber 2006, see pp. 98-103.


Lord Byron, English Bards and Scotch Reviewers: a satire (1809). See Lord Byron, The Complete Poetical Works edited by Jerome J. McGann, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980-1993, vol. 1, pp. 227-264 (261).


David Womersley, 'Edward Gibbon 17371794', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography online edition, consulted on 6 May 2010. Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman


Boyd Hilton, A Mad, Bad and Dangerous People?: England 17831846, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2008, p. 1. Christopher Casey, '"Grecian Granduers and the Rude Wasting of Old Time": Britain, the Elgin Marbles, and post-revolutionary Hellenism' in Foundations, vol. IV, no. 1, Fall 2009, at, consulted 27 April 2010.


William St Clair, 'Thomas Bruce (17661841)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography online edition, consulted 6 May 2010.


Graham Pollard, 'Pistrucci, Benedetto (17831855) Oxford Dictionary of National Biography online edition, consulted 8 January 2010. 'Gold Sovereigns' at, consulted 28 April 2010. C. Stumpf-Condry and S. K. Skedd, 'Richard Payne Knight (17511824), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography online edition, consulted on 6 May 2010.


'Report from the Select Committee on the Earl of Elgin's Collection of Sculptured Marbles; &c.', Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 25 March 1816. Quote on the attitude of the Greek population, p. 5; conclusion, p. 15. Holger Hoock, The King's Artists: the Royal Academy of Arts and the politics of British Culture 17601840, Oxford: Clarendon Press 2009, pp. 285-290.


H. N. Humphreys, The Coinage of the British Empire, London: Richard Griffin 1861, p. 163. Henry William Henfrey, A Guide to the Study of English Coins, London: George Bell 1891, pp. 106-107.


N. Carlisle, A Memoir of the Life and Works of William Wyon Esq. ARA Chief Engraver to the Royal Mint, London: W. Nicholl, 1837. This partisan work was published privately as part of the bitter feud between the supporters of Wyon and the supporters of Pistrucci. Gentlemen's Magazine, vol. 8, 1837, pp. 389-391. See also vol. 9, 1838, pp. 71-73. Laurence Brown, British Historical Medals, London: Seaby, 1980, vol. 2, item 2204, p. 106.


A set of the Rosetti designed windows is held by the Victoria and Albert Museum see: The painting by Burne-Jones, 'The Fight: St George Killing the Dragon VI 1866' is now owned by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, a gift of Arthur C. Moon in memory of his mother in 1950. Preliminary drawings are held by the British Museum and the Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery. See also John Franklin Martin, 'Two Scenes from Burne-Jones's St George Series rediscovered', Burlington Magazine, vol. 139, no. 1130, May 1997, pp. 330-334.


The Pistrucci design for the reverse was adopted by Order in Council on 14 January 1871. See H. A. Grueber, Handbook, p. 157. Athena S. Leoussi, 'Myths of Ancestry' in Nations and Nationalism, vol. 7, no. 4 (2001), pp. 467-486, pp. 476-7.


From The Real and Ideal, the Beautiful and the True; or art in the nineteenth century with illustrations from the Royal Academy Exhibition of 1876 by a rustic John Ruskin.


Holger Hoock, The King's Artists, pp. 300-7; Times, 1 May 1876, p. 12; York Herald, 1 May 1876, p. 6; Times, 10 May 1876, p. 9.


Mark Stocker, 'Boehm, Sir (Joesph) Edgar (18341890)' Oxford Dictionary of National Biography online edition, consulted on 11 January 2010. Wilfred Meynell, 'Our Living Artists: Joseph Edgar Boehm ARA', in Magazine of Art Illustrated, London: Cassell, Peter and Galopin and Co.,1880, pp. 333- 338. Mark Stocker, Royalist and Realist: the life and work of Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm, New York: Garland Publishing Inc. 1988, pp. 281-292. The Horse Sculpture is 'Rearing Thoroughbred' (1875). It was commissioned by the Duke of Westminster for the new stableyard at his country seat Eaton Hall in Cheshire.


Philadelpia Inquirer, 11 November, 1876, p. 4. George Augustus Sala, Elkington and Co. International Exhibition of 1876, Philadelphia, London: Sutton Sharpe and Co, 1876. James D. McCabe, The Illustrated History of the Centennial Exhibition held in Commemoration of the One Hundredth Anniversary of American Independence: to Which is added a Complete Description of the City of Philadelphia, Cincinatti: Jones 1876, pp. 363 – 364. Descriptive List for Elkington and Company, Metalwork Manufacturers and Electroplaters, Records, AAD 3-1979, Victoria and Albert Museum.


Theodore C. Knauff, A History of the Society of the Sons of St George, Philadelphia: Society of the Sons of St George, 1923, pp. 17, 55-7. Philadelpia Inquirer, 12 May 1876, p. 2; 4 January 1877, p. 3. Redmond Barry collected extensively for the Library at the exhibition and the range of pamphlets, newspapers and publications is large. He subscribed to the Philadephia Inquirer for a time and the issues are in the collection with an account of his visit to the Cherry Hill Pententiary in the issue for 30 May 1876, p. 2, and an account of the Victoria Court on October 3 1876, p. 2. A search of the surviving records of Elkington and Company held at the National Art Library in the Victoria and Albert Museum (AAD 3-1979) failed to identify any further details on this commission. Few artists are clearly identified with Elkington commissions.


Christopher Newall, 'Leighton, Frederic, Baron Leighton (18301896), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography online edition, consulted on 19 July 2010. Christies Sale 5964, 'Victorian Pictures', 8 November 1996, lot 52, re sale of plaster cast made by Leighton of a lost maquette of the final work. Jason Edwards, Alfred Gilbert's Aestheticism: Gilbert amongst Whistler, Wilde, Leighton, Pater and Burne-Jones, Aldershot, Hampshire: Ashgate 2006. Gilbert worked in Boehm's atelier on the St George, and Boehm's friendship with Leighton included working on commissions for his house.


William Meynell, 'Our Living Artists . . .', illustration of St George and the Dragon, p. 337. J. E. Boehm R. A., 'Portraiture in Sculpture' in Architect, vol. 27, 18 March 1882, pp. 159-161; 25 March 1882, pp. 183 - 185; 1 April 1882, pp. 204 - 206; 8 April 1882, pp. 216-218.


Times, 8 June 1885, p. 4. Mark Stocker, Royalist and Realist, pp. 290, 299-302.


Report of the Royal Commission for the Melbourne Centennial International Exhibition of 1888 to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, 1889, pp. 11-12; 'List of works', pp. 107-124. Argus, 11 September 1888, p. 34. Illustrated Australian News, 15 September 1888. 'Trustees Minutes', 22 August 1888, item 3.


Mark Stocker, Royalist and Realist, pp. 105-108 (Sydney sculpture); pp. 149-167 (Wellington Memorial); pp. 243 -279 (Jubilee coinage); and article in the Dictionary of National Biography.


A History of the Society of the Sons of St George, pp. 56-77. Philadelphia Public Art at, consulted 15 March 2010. at, consulted 1 April 2010. E. La Touche Armstrong, The Book of the Public Library, Museums, and National Gallery of Victoria, 1856-1906, Melbourne: Trustees of the Public Library, Musuems and National Gallery of Victoria, 1906, p. 65. Minutes of the Trustees of the Public Library, Museums and National Gallery of Victoria, 9 July 1891. Ernest S. Smellie, 'The Art Movement. An Australian Artist: Mr C. D. Richardson', Magazine of Art, pp. 467 – 470, maquette on p. 468.


Noel S. Hutchison, 'Mackennal, Sir Edgar Bertram (1863 - 1931)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 10, Melbourne University Press, 1986, pp 301-302. Also available on-line at au/biogs/A100295b.htm. D. Minnochi, 'Strategies of a Sculptor: the shifting allegories of Betram Mackennal's civic sculpture' in D. Edwards, ed., Mackennal, Art Gallery of NSW: The Fifth Balnaves Sculpture Project, 2007, pp. 121 -142, pp. 126-7.
Illustrated Australian News, 1 August 1891. Argus, 11 July 1891 p. 10; 17 September 1891 p. 7.


Two plaster Busts by Boehm were removed from the collection in 1943. One, a bust of Sir Henry Cole was sold, the other a bust of John Ruskin was donated to the Geelong Art Gallery, where it remains. See 'Minute to the Governor in Council 15 February 1943', copy held in Pictures Collection. John Poynter, Mr Felton's Bequests Parkville, Vic.: Miegunyah Press, 2003, p. 266. Ted Gott, 'An Iron Maiden for Melbourne – the History and Context of Emmanuel Frémiet's 1906 cast of Jeanne D'Arc' in La Trobe Journal, no. 81, Autumn 2008, pp. 53-68, p. 62.