An image of Faun and nymph

Rayner Hoff

(United Kingdom, Australia 1894 – 1937)

Faun and nymph

Not on display
Further information

In the 1920s, Rayner Hoff associated with Norman Lindsay and a group of writers, musicians and artists who strove for an Australian version of Classicism in art as a creative and rejuvenating force for society. They focused their attention on the 'lower gods'; satyrs, fauns and nymphs. In Greek pagan beliefs these were followers of the wine and fertility god Dionysus, who also represented liberated, creative, sexualised spirits.

'Faun and nymph' displays Hoff's progressive response to the ideals of this circle. He used the metaphor of pagan spirits and their representation through Art Deco forms to modernise art. The work portrays an intense sexual energy, yet is ambiguous in its nuances. The explicit sexuality of the piece was unprecedented in Australian art and exemplifies Hoff's innovative approach to modeling the body through a sense of primal energy.

26.6 x 28.6 x 14.0 cm overall :
Base; 19 x 11 cm; these are the dimensions for the base of the work for display purposes only
Signature & date

Signed and dated on base below faun's left thigh, incised "1924 G.RAYNER.HOFF.".

Gift of the Rayner Hoff Memorial Committee 1938
Accession number