Friday, 31 December 2010

The Satyr - Happy New Years Eve

A sculpture in the Botanic Gardens (located near the Opera House gates).

The Satyr is by Frank (Guy) Lynch.

According to his entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography, 'The Satyr' was modelled on Frank's younger brother Joseph Young Lynch (1897-1927), a black-and-white artist. On 14 May 1927, while drunk, Joe threw himself off a Mosman-bound ferry near Fort Denison, fought off a would-be rescuer and drowned; his body was never recovered. Joe's unruly life and tragic death inspired poet Kenneth Slessor's elegy, 'Five Bells'.

Wikipedia says:

"In Greek mythology, satyrs  are a troop of male companions of Pan and Dionysus that roamed the woods and mountains. In myths they are often associated with pipe-playing.

Satyrs acquired their goat-like aspect through later Roman conflation with Faunus, a carefree Italic nature spirit of similar characteristics and identified with the Greek god Pan. Hence satyrs are most commonly described in Latin literature as having the upper half of a man and the lower half of a goat, with a goat's tail in place of the Greek tradition of horse-tailed satyrs.

Satyrs are described as roguish but faint-hearted folk — subversive and dangerous, yet shy and cowardly.
They are lovers of wine and women, and they are ready for every physical pleasure. They roam to the music of pipes and bagpipes, and they love to dance with the nymphs (with whom they are obsessed, and whom they often pursue), and have a special form of dance called sikinnis. Because of their love of wine, they are often represented holding wine cups, and they appear often in the decorations on wine cups."

Just right for the spirit of New Years Eve......


  1. Great SMILE and great ART! :)
    Thanks for sharing this nice photo and story with us.


  2. He looks far to happy with himself, but then I guess that was the life of a satyr!

  3. Sydney's silly Sally spotted some sorta silvery sitting Satyr sculpture! Super!

  4. It's a brilliant piece of art.

  5. thanks for sharing the story behind the sculpture! love it!

  6. That looks truely amusing to look at.


  7. I was just thre the other day and wondered how this sculpture came to rest at the entrance of the botanical garden gates. thank you. Amazing!

  8. Oh I know him! Nice to see him again!

  9. Frank and Joe lynch are my great uncles!

  10. How marvellous, Rachel. Thanks for dropping by my post!