Altson, Meyer (1881-1965; English/Australian)
Monochrome Head of Horse (antique)
Oil painting, size unknown
Presented by the artist, 1899
Unidentified; present location unknown

This work was produced while the artist was studying at the Melbourne gallery’s art school (1894-1902). It is recorded in the NGV’s annual report for 1899, noting that it earnt Altson first prize in that year for a work after the antique.

It was presumably modelled on the gallery’s plaster cast from the Elgin marbles statue (historic photo reproduced here).

[comparative photo of the British Museum sculpture by L.Caldesi, (V&A Museum)]

Refs.

AR 1899, pp.27 (noting the prize) and 28 (record of acquisition); not listed in NGV 1905

For the replica of the Parthenon head, formerly in Melbourne’s cast collection, see NGV 1894, p.148 (VIII [Cast Gallery (Antique Room)], no.58). The albumen print reproduced above, by Leonida Caldesi (1823-91), was published by Colnaghi in 1861: see http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O1402555/head-of-one-of-the-photographs-caldesi-leonida/