Works included in this catalogue
* Boehm [after] Henry Cole 1875 {1876?} Loc? [SC]
* Boehm [after] John Ruskin {1876?} Geelong [SC]
* Boehm Young Bull {1888} Melb.Showgrounds [SC]
Boehm St George 1887 {1888} SLV [SC]

Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm, born in Vienna, moved to England in 1862, and became a British subject in 1865. He was one of Queen Victoria’s favourite artists, and was created a baronet in 1889.

Although his reputation waned after his death, Boehm was a prolific and highly respected sculptor during his lifetime. H.W.Janson, in his influential survey of 19th-century sculpture, describes him as “a conservative but highly competent sculptor… [who] ran a large workshop turning out portraits and monuments for British high society.”

Graeme Sturgeon, in his history of Australian sculpture (1978), observes that, although Boehm never visited Australia, “his influence was felt there through the presence of three of his large works” – his monumental bronze statue of Queen Victoria in Hyde Park, Sydney (1879), and his St George and Young Bull, both purchased for the NGV after being shown in the Centennial International Exhibition in Melbourne in 1888.

The posthumous decline of Boehm’s reputation was reflected in the 1940s de-accessioning of 3 of the 4 works acquired for Melbourne during the artist’s lifetime.


See Janson Nineteenth-century Sculpture (1985), p.244 (quoted); Sturgeon Australian Sculpture (1978), p.36 (also quoted above); AKL 12 (1996), pp.143-44 (mentioning Young Bull); and Bénézit 2, pp.697-98. See also Carmody “The Naked Saint” (2011), pp. 116-35, available online. For the Hyde Park statue of Queen Victoria, see e.g.