From the Sublime to the Ridiculous - Archibald Fountain Idiots


Hobart, Australia

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Wall Art

Home Decor



Artist's Description

Featured in Statues and Such Group on 05/10/12

Arguably the finest fountain in Australia, the Archibald Fountain in Hyde Park, Sydney sadly under invasion from a pair of drunken idiots. When someone called out that a police van was approaching the pair ran across a city street and hid behind a statue outside the Law Courts – a pity they didn’t run inside.

The fountain is named after J.F. Archibald, owner and editor of The Bulletin magazine, who bequeathed funds to have it built. Archibald specified that it must be designed by a French artist, both because of his great love of French culture and to commemorate the association of Australia and France in World War I. He imagined its civic design and ornamentation developing to rival his dream city Paris. The artist chosen was François-Léon Sicard.
The fountain was unveiled on 14 March 1932 by the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Samuel Walder.

Sicard was one of the foremost sculptors of his day, a classically educated artist, whose inspiration was derived, at least in part, from his study of classical Greek and Roman art and literature. In submitting his proposal for the design of the sculptural groups, Sicard wrote: "Apollo represents the Arts (Beauty and Light). Apollo holds out his right arm as a sign of protection, and spreads his benefits over all Nature, whilst he holds the Lyre in his left hand. Apollo is the warmth which vivifies, giving life to all Nature. At the touch of his rays, men awake, trees and fields become green, the animals go out into the fields, and men go to work at dawn.
“The ancient Pliny adored the sun, symbol of Life. It is on this account that I wished this figure to be the chief one in the memorial.
“At Apollo’s feet the star of day is indicated by a semicircle, of which the rays spread out in jets of light (the rising sun). The horses’ heads represent the horses of Apollo’s chariot. Out of their nostrils the water will fall into the first basin, to fall from there into the second, and run away into the large basin.”

Taken with Pentax k-r on 23 February 2012 at Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Lens Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6
ISO 400
0 EV
1/125 sec.
Hand held

4 shot vertical panoramic merge in PSE 9.

Artwork Comments

  • barnsis
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  • Fara
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  • STHogan
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  • WildestArt
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