Wood – one of Queen Victoria’s favourite artists – spent time near the end of his life in Melbourne, arranging for the completion and installation of his statue of the monarch for Parliament House (finally installed in Queen’s Hall in 1887). This was one of several variant statues of the queen produced by Wood for various colonial cities.
While he was in Melbourne (he apparently arrived in 1877), his Daphne, another variant, acquired for the NGV several years earlier, was shown in the Melbourne International Exhibition of 1880-1. He also completed the bust of O’Shanassy (donated later), and also donated several plaster casts after the antique to the Melbourne collection: for details, see Casts – Donors.
He left Melbourne early in 1882, due to poor health, and died soon after arriving in England (shortly before the arrival of Bertram Mackennal, who had met Wood in Melbourne and planned to study with him). A notice of Wood’s death in the Melbourne Argus described Daphne as “the only ideal work of this sculptor in Victoria.”
Wood’s Musidora (1878), donated to the NGV in 1914, and now the sole work by this sculptor in the Melbourne collection, is also a variant (there is an earlier example in Toronto, dated 1875).
For the artist, see e.g. http://sculpture.gla.ac.uk/view/person.php?id=msib1_1268130478 and http://www.victorianweb.org/sculpture/woodm/index.html; see also “The late Mr. Marshall Wood,” The Argus, 28 July 1882: http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/11548108 (quoted); and Bénézit 14, p.1062 (listing both works catalogued here). Peter Hutchinson (email correspondence July 2020) notes that the Sydney Morning Herald reported on 17 July 1877 that Wood had just arrived in Melbourne. For the statue of Queen Victoria in Parliament House, Melbourne, and other variants, see Vaughan “Queen Empress” (2013)
See also http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/explore/collection/work/3654/, for the Musidora in the NGV (gift of John H.Connell, 1914); and for the Musidora in Toronto (with photos; noting damage suffered in 2014), see http://guildpark.ca/oct2014news
For the plaster casts of antique and other statues donated by Wood, see NGV 1894, VII. 4, 26 & 89; and VIII.31, 64 & 87