Rossetti’s Wombat: Pre Raphaelites and Australian Animals

Classes, Lessons, Workshops and Talks

2 Feb 2019

John Simons, historian, writer, author of Rossetti’s Wombat: Pre-Raphaelites and Australian Animals in Victorian London.

One of the more curious members of the group that clustered around the Pre Raphaelites was Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s pet wombat Top. Before Top joined Rossetti in his Chelsea mansion the Pre Raphaelites had shown considerable interest in wombats including them in both permanent and temporary form in the decorative scheme for the Oxford Union, including them in drawings and cartoons and even including one in a mural at William Morris’s Red House.

This talk will tell the story of Top as it is contextualised by the Pre Raphaelite wombat cult, interest in Australian animals in Victorian England more generally and the role of the animal trade in the economy of the Australian states in the colonial period.


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Event Times

2 Feb 2019

Once Only Event


National Gallery of Australia

Parkes Place East, Parkes, 2600

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