Saturday, 1 May 2010

Theme Day - Statues - The footballer


Dressed in the woollen cap, sweater and tight knee-length trousers worn by rugby football players of the 19th century, this statue has the Neoclassical face of Apollo. Ironic? There’s more.


Our hero stands high upon a plinth overlooking green playing fields, every bit the macho-dandy, but look closely at his screaming hordes. There surrounding our rugger-bugger, like points of a compass, are four bronze cherubs. North to trumpet the kick-off. South to record the score. East invites attention with her naked behind. And, finally, West standing in glorious victory with the lion-skin of Hercules gracing her shoulders.


As if that is not enough, this Florentine sculptor has sprinkled between our cherubs hordes of tiny putti. Cupid was depicted as a putto, and putti were often shown in attendance on immortals.

Immortals! We are talking football here! This is sounding more like a statue fit for Melbourne and its leaping-leeroys.


Taking a broader perspective, we note the bronze lions, standing in attendance, one in each corner of the octogon base. England still protecting her offspring as it takes its first tentative step into nationhood.

This statue was commissioned by Sir Henry Parkes to adorn the Grand Drive in Centennial Park, to please the gentry as they perambulated in their buggys. I wonder if he knew that the Florentine tongue was wedged firmly in said Florentine cheek.

‘We won’ (aka The Footballer) by Tommaso Sani, 1893


Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

24 comments:

Dina said...

Highly unusual statues, especially with your biting commentary. LOL!

Lois said...

Wow Julie that first shot is just amazing! The light is stunning and it gives the silhouette a beautiful glowing effect. Very nice!

Mary Ann said...

I really enjoyed this. Monuments are amazing because there are often many layers to them, and the longer you look, the more meaning you can pull out.

Clytie said...

I'm with Mary Ann - I see something different the longer I look at each view. I also agree with Lois - that first shot is extraordinarily beautiful!

Traci said...

As odd as some of them are, what artisttry!!! As someone with ZERO visual art skills, I have to stand in awe of the hours of work committed to such things (even football and tight pants!)
:-)
Traci

Jilly said...

What a hoot of a story. Wonderful photographs as always Julie. Happy Theme Day. Still the day before here...!

Lachezar said...

This is a great post Julie, so well written and illustrated. An eye opener too! Cheers!

Andrew said...

Interesting, but it makes me think how well bluestone works with statues, rather than what I guess is sandstone.

Julie said...

This is Sydney, Andrew. Everything is sandstone. It is everywhere beneath our feet. Like WA, all we have to do is dig, and we have riches galore.

cara said...

Those cherubs down the bottom with those bottoms are absolutely gorgeous.

Joan Elizabeth said...

The top shot is very special but I don't have the same fondness for footballers as I do for the men you showed the previous two days. As always, I love the story that goes with.

Bill said...

Hi Julie, We're heading to Sydney tomorrow for three weeks, so hopefully can catch up with you for a coffee somewhere.
Cheers, Bill and Diane

brattcat said...

Ah, you Australians know how to pay proper respect to your footballers. Wicked little post, Julie.

J Bar said...

Wow. This is another one I've never seen before. I really like the silhouette shot.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

CafebyJW said...

Interesting,I love footy too.

You Got A Posty ~ PFF
All Little Things I Like

Bergson said...

impressive statue

Julie ScottsdaleDailyPhoto.com said...

superb images. i like the first one best

cieldequimper said...

Being a rugger fan, I'm gobsmacked!

Clueless in Boston said...

What an amazing statue. The first shot is truly wonderful!

TheChieftess said...

I agree about the first shot...definitely my favorite!!!

Gunn said...

They are all very nice, but the top one is SUPERB! :-)

Ann said...

Top silhouette is stunning, especially the way the light catches the spiders' webs. Well done.

Mo said...

OMG are they going to do this to Beckham

Julie said...

Never thought of that! ooo ... I do hope so. How delicious would that be!!