C1879

Unveiling of the Captain Cook statue, Hyde Park, Sydney, 1879.

Artist:

William Macleod (1850 - 1929)

Extremely rare lithograph commemorating the unveiling of Captain Cooks statue, issued as a supplement to the Sydney Mail 8th March 1879. The Captain Cook sculpture was erected by public subscription, which was supplemented by government grants. The foundation stone was … Read Full Description

$A 1,250

S/N: SMAI-1879-SUPP–223397
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Details

Full Title:

Unveiling of the Captain Cook statue, Hyde Park, Sydney, 1879.

Date:

C1879

Artist:

William Macleod (1850 - 1929)

Condition:

Trimed to image and laid onto supporting sheet.

Technique:

Original lithograph

Image Size: 

485mm 
x 215mm
AUTHENTICITY
Unveiling of the Captain Cook statue, Hyde Park, Sydney, 1879. - Antique Print from 1879

Genuine antique
dated:

1879

Description:

Extremely rare lithograph commemorating the unveiling of Captain Cooks statue, issued as a supplement to the Sydney Mail 8th March 1879.

The Captain Cook sculpture was erected by public subscription, which was supplemented by government grants. The foundation stone was laid in 1769 but erection of the statue was beset by difficulties, not least a shortfall in subscription funds. Eventually, it seems, the Colonial Secretary, Sir Henry Parkes, took the matter into his own hands. In a letter dated 26 September 1874 to Thomas Woolner, Parkes requested that the well-known and prolific sculptor send a design of the statue for approval, with particulars of size and material, and the probable time required for execution. Parkes’ only major directive was that since the ‘position in Hyde Park is a very exposed one…the statue must be of bronze’.

In 1878, the ‘colossal’ statue of Captain Cook was briefly displayed ‘in the open space nearly opposite the Athenaeum Club, in Waterloo Place, Pall Mall’, before being shipped to Sydney. It was described in the British Art Journal of the time as “unquestionably a work designed with force and spirit that raise it to the character of the sensational”.

The day of the sculpture’s unveiling was declared a public holiday in honour of Cook and the monument. It was estimated that 12,000 joined the procession to Hyde Park and 60,000 people attended the unveiling.

Thomas Woolner (1825-1892) was born in Hadleigh, Suffolk, and studied at the Royal Academy. He was the only sculptor as founding member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and had a successful career as a sculptor. Woolner travelled to Australia in 1852, and went on to have limited success on the Victorian goldfields. In 1854 he visited Sydney, where he was unsuccessful in gaining a commission to create a statue of Wentworth. He returned to England shortly thereafter, and was made a full member of the Royal Academy in 1874.

Reference McCarthy & Ashton Sydney Open Museum Historical Survey, Sydney City Council, 1994, item 21, pp.1-3, i-iii

Artist:

William Macleod (1850-1929)

Colonial artist born 1850 in London arrived in Australia with his family who emigrated to join the gold rush in Victoria. After the death of her husband in 1855 Julia settled in Sydney, where she married the portrait painter James Anderson.

Macleod trained with the Sydney artist Edmund Thomas at the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts and was known first, as William Macleod Anderson or James Anderson. He travelled widely and won a reputation as a painter of portraits and cattle, a designer of stained-glass windows, and as illustrator with journals such as the Sydney Mail, the Australian Town and Country Journal and Queensland Punch.

Macleod joined the Bulletin full time in 1886 in response to a plea from Archibald following the departure of W.H.Traill. They became joint owners in 1887, Macleod was the Bulletin‘s managing director for the next forty years.

Macleod worked in a variety of art forms from stained glass to black-and-white drawing, oils, watercolour, engraving, lithography, clay modelling and sculpture. His strength was as an illustrator. In later life Macleod lived at Dunvegan, Mosman, where he painted, played bowls with zeal, and was a genial and kindly host.

His works are represented in a number of institutional collections such as, in the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the National Gallery of Australia.

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