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The return of the prodigal son 1923, cast 1984

The return of the prodigal son

Daphne Mayo | Australia 1895–1982 | The return of the prodigal son 1923, cast 1984 | Bronze | Gift of Dr Lloyd Rees as a tribute to Daphne Mayo 1984 | City of Brisbane Collection, Museum of Brisbane | © Surf Lifesaving Foundation and the Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust

Daphne Mayo: Let There Be Sculpture | 4 November 2011 − 15 January 2012 | QAG | Free admission

This work won Daphne Mayo the Royal Academy of Arts’ gold medal for sculpture, which carried with it the Edward Stott Travelling Studentship to Italy. The subject was set by the Academy and Lloyd Rees, who was then in London, modelled for the figure of the son. He later wrote: ‘The feeling of love and compassion for the father bending over the son I found deeply moving and fortunately the judges were of the same opinion’. The father figure, with its intensity of expression and pronounced muscles, reveals Mayo’s admiration of Michelangelo, then a particular hero of Academy students.