The walls in the North and South Vestibules of the East range are decorated with a number of plaster casts.
- The North Vestibule - busts of Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots, Sir Maurice O'Connell and Sir George Gipps
- The South Vestibule - some of the Elgin (Parthenon) marbles
Photos are courtesy of the University Secretariat. Click on images for enlargement.
On walls in the North Vestibule of the East range are plaster busts of Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots, Sir Maurice O'Connell and Sir George Gipps. The originals of these busts were made by sculptor Charles Abrahams (1816 - 1885).
Queen Elizabeth I:
The bust of Elizabeth I was given to the University in 1859 by William Long of Trinity College, Cambridge and was originally located in the Library Room (now the Senate Room).
The cast was taken from the effigy on her tomb at Westminster Abbey - "by many supposed to have been modelled after a plaster cast taken subsequent to her decease. Be that as it may, this cast is one of a very peculiar character. The tightly drawn, firmly set mouth betokens a hard, and steadfast indifference to any will besides her own, her nose, though not high, is sharp and aquiline, the cheek bones prominent, the forehead intellectual, and the expression at once cold, stern, and menacing." (SMH, 13 July 1859)
Mary Queen of Scots:
The bust of Mary Queen of Scots was given to the University in 1859 by William Long of Trinity College, Cambridge, and was originally located in the Library Room (now the Senate Room).
A cast was "taken from her figure at her tomb at Westminster Abbey, to which her remains were removed many years after her execution. As a likeness it is probably, for this reason, not to be very much depended upon, although it corresponds in many respects to her features is preserved in her ordinary portraits. It is expressive of irresolution and weakness, and particularly narrow across the temple." (SMH, 13 July 1859)
Sir Maurice O'Connell (1768 - 1848, Commander of forces and Lieutenant-Governor of New South Wales):
Governor George Gipps (1791-1847, Governor of the colony of New South Wales):
Plaster casts of some of the scenes from the walls of the Parthenon in Athens were donated to the University in 1859 by William Long of Trinity College, Cambridge. They are on the walls of the South Vestibule of the East range.
The actual Elgin Marbles, also known as the Parthenon Marbles, include more than half of the surviving decorative sculptures of the Parthenon and some objects from other Acropolis buildings, such as pediment figures, metope panels depicting battles between the Lapiths and the Centaurs and various friezes. The marbles were purchased in 1816 by the British government and displayed in London’s British Museum where they stand to this day.
- Read about these plaster casts of the Elgin marbles and their recent restoration.
- Read articles from Museum News on the growing demand for the return of the original sculptures to Athens.