Pietro Porcelli

Pietro Porcelli
Porcelli working on a statue of C. Y. O'Connor, 1910 or 1911.
A bronze statue of Porcelli by Perth artist Greg James was unveiled in Kings Square, Fremantle, in 1993.

Pietro Giacomo Porcelli (30 January 1872 – 28 June 1943) was an Italian-born sculptor responsible for many statues in Western Australia, including the Explorers' Monument, and those of C. Y. O'Connor and Alexander Forrest.[1]


Born in Bisceglie in the province of Bari, he moved to Sydney with his fisherman father at the age of 8. After initial training at the New South Wales Academy of Art, he furthered his study of sculpture and drawing in Naples, before returning to Fremantle with his father in 1898. Later that year, he completed his first commission – a bust of Sir John Forrest that now stands in the main entrance hall of Parliament House in Perth. His 1902 statue of Alexander Forrest was the first such statue of a prominent public figure to be completed in Perth. He also created the imposing figure which stood atop the seven-storey AMP Chambers at the corner of St George's Tce and William St, which was completed in 1915, but demolished in 1972.

Porcelli also completed war memorials in Kalgoorlie, Boulder, Victoria Park, West Leederville and Moora, and numerous headstones in Karrakatta and Fremantle Cemeteries, including that of Sir John Forrest in 1918.

After a period of work in Melbourne in the 1920s, he returned to Perth in 1939, where he died in 1943. He is buried in Karrakatta Cemetery.[2][3]

Major works

Subject Work Location Year
Sir John Forrest bust Parliament House (Forrest Foyer) 1898
Alexander Forrest statue Stirling Gardens, Perth 1902
C. Y. O'Connor bust Mundaring Weir 1907
Sir James Lee-Steere bust Parliament House (Lee Steere Foyer) 1909
C. Y. O'Connor statue Fremantle Harbour 1911
Explorers' Monument monument Fremantle 1913
Australian Mutual Provident Society bronze emblem Perth (now moved to Floreat Waters) 1925
Frederick Henry Piesse statue Katanning 1916
Head of Christ alto-relief marble exterior of St Patrick's Church, Fremantle
Peace bronze Midland Railway Workshops
12-panel frieze freestone Sanctuary, Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne


  1. ^ Simon Keane (1988). "Porcelli, Pietro Giacomo (1872–1943)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. ISBN 0-522-84437-5
  2. ^ Summary Of Record Information Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Metropolitan Cemeteries Board (1998). Karrakatta Cemetery Historical Walk Trail Archived 20 February 2006 at the Wayback Machine.

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