The Statue of St George and the Dragon in the Exhibition

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The Statue of St George and the Dragon in the Exhibition


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In this article from the Australian Illustrated News, Joseph Edward Boehm’s statue of St George and the Dragon is lauded as “perhaps one of the finest examples in bronze that has ever appeared in the colony”. The statue, which depicts St George astride his horse, armed with a large spear and inflicting the death blow on a “very substantial reptile, neither a griffon nor a wyvern, but partaking strongly of the nature of an iguana”, was displayed in the Great Hall during the 1888 International Exhibition in Melbourne. The article’s praise for this work stands in contradiction to former criticisms of the sculpture from the likes of Edmund Grosse for lacking ‘largeness’ and for being overly poetic and idealised (See Andrew Lynch, “‘Thingless names’? The St George Legend in Australia”, The La Trobe Journal, vol.81, Autumn 2008, pp.40-52: The author of the article suggests that although “strict probabilities” had not been observed, the sculpture was to be commended for its aesthetically pleasing depiction of a combat between good and evil.
Boehm’s statue of St George and the Dragon was purchased by the State Library of Victoria for the sum of £1000 following the Exhibition. It was installed at the entrance to the library in 1889 where, after some slight repositioning to accommodate Frémiet’s Jeanne d’Arc in 1907, it still stands.




National Library of Australia


The Illustrated Australian News


15 September 1888


The Illustrated Australian News


Newspaper Article; Hyperlink



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