Gott, Joseph (1785-1860; English)
Marble, c.1.45 m high 
Presented by James Chapman, 1885; de-accessioned and presented to the City of Geelong West, 1941
Present location unknown

“FLORA, in the act of dancing, and holding  in both hands a festoon of roses” (description of Gott’s statue in a Roman catalogue, 1860).

This work, one of several donated by Chapman in 1885, presumably typified the neoclassic style of this artist, who trained with Flaxman, and was active in Rome mainly in the 1820s-30s.

In 1941, this statue was formally presented to Geelong West (together with * Benzoni Euterpe {1885} Loc? [SC], also donated in 1885); its later fate is unknown, and no later image has been found.

However, it seems to be identifiable in early photographs of Melbourne’s sculpture collections, such as Rudd’s view of the Rotunda, c.1888 (detail shown here).


AR 1884 (as received March 1885); SB p.67 (Statues): an added note indicates the formal transfer to Geelong in Oct.1941; NGV 1894, p.133 (VI.Rotunda, no.48); NGV 1905, p.155 (VI.Sculpture – Entrance Hall, no.9).

See T.Friedman & T.Stevens, Joseph Gott Sculptor 1786-1860, Leeds & Liverpool, 1972 ( & catalogue), p.48, cat.G84, noting that the statue, signed by Gott, was 57″ high, and quoting the description quoted above, from F.S.Bonfigli, Guide to the Studios in Rome with much supplementary information, Rome, 1860, pp.32-33. The work’s Australian provenance is also mentioned.

For the sculptor, besides the 1972 catalogue cited above, see also Terry Friedman’s biography in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004, updated 2015), available online; AKL 59 (2008), pp.237-38; and Bénézit 6, pp.485-86 

For Rudd’s overview of sculpture in the MPL Rotunda, see Sculpture – Introduction

Another Italianate Flora was among the twelve marble statues bought in Rome and donated to Ballarat by Thomas Stoddart (installed in 1884): see SLV photo H99.100/24 (c.1910) and