Sydney CBD | Francois Sicard

J. F. Archibald Memorial Fountain by Francois Sicard
Francois Sicard

Not quite as impressive as the El Alamein Fountain in Potts Point but another amazing fountain found in Hyde Park. If you love Greek and Roman Mythology this themed fountain build in 1926 will certainly satisfy you appetite.

There are four components to this fountain. The centerpiece depicts  Apollo with three base sculptures surrounding him; Dianna, Pan, Theseus and the minotaur.

The fountain is officially called the J. F. Archibald Memorial Fountain in namesake of it's benefactor J.F Archibald. It commemorates the relationship between Australia and France after World War I. It was completed by a French artist for this reason and installed in Hyde Park in 1932.

J. F. Archibald Memorial Fountain by Francois SicardJ. F. Archibald Memorial Fountain by Francois SicardJ. F. Archibald Memorial Fountain by Francois Sicard

The Plaque Reads

"Apollo represents the Arts (Beauty and Light). Apollo holds out his right arm as a sign of protection, and spreads his benefits over all Nature, whilst he holds the Lyre in his left hand. Apollo is the warmth which vivifies, giving life to all Nature. At the touch of his rays, men awake, trees and fields become green, the animals go out into the fields, and men go to work at dawn.

"The ancient Pliny adored the sun, symbol of Life. It is on this account that I wished this figure to be the chief one in the memorial."

An inscription on the fountain continues: "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."