An image of Image of the head of the figure of 'Sacrifice' from the Formia war memorial by Dora Ohlfsen

Dora Ohlfsen

(Australia 22 Aug 1869 – 07 Feb 1948)

Image of the head of the figure of 'Sacrifice' from the Formia war memorial by Dora Ohlfsen

Location
Not on display
Further information

Through the patronage of her friend, Duke Fulco Tosti di Valminuta, Dora Ohlfsen was entrusted with the design for a war memorial at the naval base of Formia, near Naples. She began work on the memorial in 1923, and received no payment. The memorial was dedicated on 18 July 1926 in the presence of the Admiral of the Italian fleet, the Archbishop of Gaeta and a number of war veterans.

The main sculptural element of the memorial - the figure of Sacrifice - is an Italian youth, typified as a vital young soldier leaping forward to offer himself in sacrifice. Ohlfsen intended to evoke in plastic form a verse from Leopardi’s poem ‘To Italy’:

O my country, the life thou gavest me
I now return to thee.

On one side of the large pedestal block supporting this figure is another, female figure. She faces inward, holding a palm of victory in the left hand and a laurel branch in the right, over the names of fallen soldiers from the First World War.

Year
1926
Media
Photograph
Medium
copy print of a gelatin silver photograph
Dimensions
25.5 x 20.5 cm image/sheet
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Credit
National Art Archive. Gift of Dora Stanford 1995.
Accession number
ARC366.1.30