The stag in the window at Werribee Park: species, decoration and Britishness

Suzanne Fraser

Abstract


The site and structure of Werribee Park mansion, south-west of Melbourne, stands as a monument to the cashed-in rewards of Empire. It was built by immigrant Scots in the 1870s. The spine of the entrance hall of this mansion is revealed through an imposing etched window series, at the centre of which is featured a heroic stag image (based on a painting by the English artist, Sir Edwin Landseer). This article will argue that the iconography of this window series – which also features an array of ‘huntable’ game animals from Britain and Australia – illustrates the centrality of indigenous species narratives in promoting cultural identity and, in this case, demarcating a carefully crafted imperial dominion in colonial Victoria.

Keywords


Species; Scottish art; British empire; indigeneity; interior design

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