Pre-Felton works donated after Purves’ death
* Giambologna [after] Rape of the Sabines {1878} Loc? [SC]
* Unknown (Italian 19C?) Venus de’Medici {1878} Loc? [SC]

According to his obituary, Purves migrated to Tasmania in 1834 and then moved to Victoria three years later, raising sheep near Hanging Rock. Later, he owned the Tootgarook station near Dromana, and prospered as a merchant during the Victorian gold rush. Purves’ son, also named James (1843-1910), was a prominent Melbourne lawyer and nationalist politician.

Sometime before 1865, Purves senior is recorded as having donated a plaster cast to the Melbourne collection: see Casts – I.Statues etc. (I.99Tambourine Girl).

After his death, the two statues noted above were donated by his family; but both were already in the gallery (on loan, presumably) earlier in the 1870s: refer individual entries for further details.


For Purves senior, see (his obituary, published in The Australasian Sketcher, 6 July 1878); and (both accessed 28 Sept.2018). See also (biography of Purves Junior by Marian Aveling; from ADB vol.3, 1974)