Archibald Fountain

For such a long time I wondered why the statue pointed to the east and now I know.

Apollo represents the Arts (Beauty and Light.) Apollo holds out his right arm as a sign of protection and spreads his benefit over all nature while he holds a lyre in his left hand. Apollo is the warm which vivifies, giving warmth to all nature.

At the touch of his ray 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 semi-circle of which the rays spread out in jets of light (the rising sun). The horse’s heads represent the horses of Apollo’s chariot. Out of the nostrils, water falls into the first basin, to fall there into the second and run away into the large basin.

The large basin is decorated with six tortoises which throw jets of water. 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 Pan group symbolises the good things of the earth-it is the ‘Young God of the fields and pastures and of the countryside’. The third group represents sacrifice for the public good. Theseus vanquisher of the Minotaur. The spirit triumphs over bestiality.

Theseus delivers his country from the ransom which it had to pay to this monster. It is the sacrifice of himself for the good of humanity. Between these groups dolphins throw jets of water.

courtesy of Archibald Memorial Fountain – City Art Sydney

The fountain can be found in Sydney’s Hyde Park.


‘Apollo is the warm which vivifies, giving warmth to all nature.’ Archibald Fountain – Hyde Park – Sydney 



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