[photo: detail of photograph of Picture Gallery, MPL, 1872 (SLV H96.160/1793)]


Plaster Casts

A new “mini-catalogue” of Melbourne’s former plaster cast collection is now available here: see Plaster Casts. This lists all the casts recorded as acquired between 1860 and 1904, with documentation (including engraved and photographic views of the collection, from 1863 to 1905), and information on donors (entries published Oct.2020).

Other new or substantially amended entries

Several previously un-noticed works (most of them apparently no longer extant) have come to light as a result of research into the plaster casts. Many of the new or revised entries noted below are listed in the first detailed catalogue of the Melbourne collection (1865), and in the 1870-71 Annual Report of the Melbourne Public Library, Museums and National Gallery, submitted to the Victorian Parliament in March 1871, which provides a valuable survey of the history of the collections from the foundation of the library to the end of 1870 (subsequent reports for 1871ff. include annual updates).

Several other early art acquisitions have been noted as listed in the 1861 catalogue of the Melbourne Public Library and other 1860s sources, indicating that a larger number of works than previously noted was already in the Melbourne collection by 1870 (various other existing entries have been amended to note this).

Entries listed below are new unless specified as significantly amended:


Russell Melbourne from the Falls 1837 {by 1870} SLV [DR]


Carmichael after Adamson Melbourne from the South side of the Yarra 1839 {by 1865} SLV [PR]

* Cruikshank & Mottram The Worship of Bacchus 1864 {by 1865} Loc? [PR] and Cruikshank & Mottram The Worship of Bacchus… 1864 (c.2) {1868} NGV [PR] (replacing previous single entry for this print)

* Desvachez after Raphael: La vierge au livre {1868?} Loc? [PR]

* Gauci (?) George Augustus Robinson {by 1865} Loc? [PR]

Ham (T.) after Strutt Opening of Prince’s Bridge 1851 {by 1861} SLV [PR] and Ham (T.) after Strutt Opening of Prince’s Bridge 1851 (c.2) {1868} SLV [PR] (replacing previous single entry for this print)

Hart St Phillip’s East Collingwood 1866 {1868} SLV? [PR]

* Hymans after Induno Popolane di Roma {1868?} Loc? [PR]

* Meunier after Madou L’Arquebusier {1868?} Loc? [PR]

Shepherd Wesley Church, Melbourne {by 1870} SLV [PR]

* Volpato after Raphael The School of Athens (c.2) {1868?} Loc? [PR]

* Unknown Exhibition Building, Sussex Vale 1861 {1868} Loc? [PR]


* Canova [after] Two Lions {by 1865} Loc? [SC]

* Copeland & Sons (after others) Prince and Princess of Wales {by 1871} Loc? [SC]

* Gibson [after] Venus and Cupid {by 1861} Loc? [SC]

* Noble [after] Queen Victoria {1863} Loc? [SC] (previously listed as * Unknown (British 19C) Queen Victoria {c.1860} Loc? [SC])

Summers (Charles) Seal of the Victorian Exhibition 1862 {by 1865} Mus.Vic. [SC]

Summers (Charles) Sir George Macleay {1872} SLV [SC] (previously listed as location unknown; now confirmed as in the SLV, with a new ID photo)

* Unknown: Cupid {by 1865} Loc? [SC]

* Unknown (Copeland & Sons?) Clytie {by 1865} Loc? [SC]