Collection Online
Bernard O'Dowd
51.1 × 26.4 × 27.0 cm
cast (diagonally) in base of neck l.l.: Web Gilbert
cast (vertically) in base l.l.: WEB / GILBERT
cast (vertically) in base l.r.:BERNARD / O’DOWD
cast in top of base l.l.: Web Gilbert / 1912
Accession Number
Australian Sculpture
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1913
Gallery location
Gallery 7
Level 2, NGV Australia
Renowned for his elegant portrait busts of public personages and monumental and allegorical figures, Web Gilbert was largely self-taught as a sculptor. As a child he worked as an apprentice chef in Melbourne and it is believed his skill modelling pastry and decorations for wedding cakes aroused his subsequent interest in sculpture. After learning the art of marble carving he was drawn to the immediacy inherent to direct casting in bronze. He met Australian Impressionist painter Frederick McCubbin during the 1880s at the National Gallery School where he was a student.

Bernard O’Dowd (1866-1953) was a Melbourne-based poet, radical and parliamentary draughtsman.