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 (not catalogued here). After his death, the two statues noted above were donated by his family.


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)

For the plaster cast of Tambourine Girl by Danton donated by Purves, see NGV 1894, p.136 (VII.Cast Gallery, no.33)