[Excerpt - Arts Review by Robert Nelson - Linked Above]
Bertram Mackennal's robustly modelled Circe of 1893 is a tour de force of chilling sculptural presence. Legs pressed together with taut muscles, the imperious witch extends her hands in front, at full stretch, casting the ghastly spell that turns men into swine.
When you come beneath the influence of the tense fingers, it's hard to suppress a shiver of dread. Serpents crown her head and encircle her feet; and adding to the horror of her evil plan, the severe enchantress has a strong sexual presence. She is a femme fatale. Beneath the garland of snakes, there are fornicating figures carved on the base, like future trophies snared by Circe's provocation and oblivious of the hideous transformation that awaits them.
Fraternally, Philip Carter / Facebook / Great is Truth and mighty above all things (I Esdras 4:41)
By a further 'coincidence,' I was photographed with the sculpture the day after my talk at The Victorian Lodge of Research (thank you again).
As a youngster I was mesmerized while ascending the escalator at the National Gallery of Victoria, seeing Circe at the top, seeming to be drawing me to her.
Upon visiting the Salvador Dali exhibition at the gallery, with my wife and a friend, I was disappointed to find her gone. We then visited the John Brack exhibition at the Ian Potter Centre, and there she was!
I'll also post an image when I get the photos from our friend.