The Archibald Fountain is located in Hyde Park, Sydney, Australia. It is named after J. F. Archibald, owner and editor of The Bulletin magazine, who bequeathed funds to have it built. He wished Sydney to aspire to Parisian civic design and ornamentation. The artist chosen was François-Léon Sicard, who completed it in Paris in 1926 but never saw the sculpture in situ in Sydney, where it was unveiled on 14 March 1932 by the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Samuel Walder.
Sicard was one of the foremost sculptors of his day, a classically educated artist, whose inspiration was derived, from his study of classical Greek and Roman art and literature.
Apollo represents the Arts (Beauty and Light). Apollo holds out his right arm as a sign of protection, and spreads his benefits over all Nature, whilst he holds the Lyre in his left hand. Apollo is the warmth which vivifies, giving life to all Nature. At the touch of his rays, men awake, trees and fields become green, the animals go out into the fields, and men go to work at dawn.
At Apollo’s feet the star of day is indicated by a semicircle, of which the rays spread out in jets of light (the rising sun). The horses’ heads represent the horses of Apollo’s chariot. Out of their nostrils the water will fall into the first basin, to fall from there into the second, and run away into the large basin.
The large basin is divided into three groups. One represents Diana, goddess of purity, of peaceful nights, symbol of charity; the ideal which watches over mortals – all that stands for poetry and harmony. The second group symbolises the good things of the earth – it is the young god of the fields and pastures, of the pleasure of the countryside. The third group represents sacrifice for the public good. Theseus, vanquisher of the Minotaur. The spirit triumphs over bestiality. Between these groups tortoises throw jets of water.
Over the years the Archibald Fountain has been a chosen spot for photos, buskers, political rallies and just as a meeting place. Park benches are provided nearby, making it a popular location for city workers at lunchtime.
Neelam was at Sydney and imaged the Archibald Fountain at night looking towards the Southern Pole in the sky. The circular star trails centered around the celestial south pole depict a movement of about one hour. The iconic Sydney Tower is visible in the image.
A Greek mythological fountain of art, sculpted by a Parisian, installed in Hyde Park, Sydney!