‘Romulus and Remus with Wolf Mother’ by John Perceval

Made by Perceval, John in Murrumbeena, Victoria, 1961.

John Perceval (b 1923) is an Australian painter who was involved with another prominent Australian artist, Arthur Boyd (1920-1999) in the establishment of the Arthur Merric Boyd pottery at Murrumbeena, Victoria in 1944. Although a wide range of highly important ceramic work evolved out of this pottery during the years that it operated (1944 to 1958), it was originally established mainly to produce domestic wares for a market experiencing wartime shortages. The pottery was also viewed as a means ...


Object No.


Physical Description

A figural group depicting the mythical infants Romulus and Remus with their wolf foster-mother. Broadly modelled in pale grey earthenware and glazed in an uneven deep red 'sang-de-boeuf' type glaze. Hand modelled details over wheel-thrown components. The dominant element in the composition is the large and roughly textured wolf mother depicted in a tenacious pose standing four-square and rigid on powerful legs. Her head points forward and the body slopes back to lean hindquarters and a slender curling tail. The ears are erect. The eyes are represented as holes pierced in the hollow body cavity as is the open mouth with pointed fangs and tongue. Along her belly there are two rows of teats and below these between her legs are the two infants Romulus and Remus. They are depicted as small playful imps, naked, half-seated, half lying with a tangle of chubby arms and legs. The group is glazed with an irregular deep red glaze giving an uneven mottled effect which contrasts with burnt black patches. Makers marks at various points on object.

A tray and crate have been custom made for these objects.



310 mm


515 mm


300 mm



Made by John Perceval at Murrumbeena Pottery, Victoria

Perceval began his series of ceramic sculptures around the angel theme in 1957. This is a culminative example from this series dating from 1961.


Perceval, John 1961


Perceval, John null


Credit Line

Purchased 1991

Acquisition Date

31 May, 1991

Cite this Object


'Romulus and Remus with Wolf Mother' by John Perceval 2017, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 23 January 2018, <https://ma.as/116925>


{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/116925 |title='Romulus and Remus with Wolf Mother' by John Perceval |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=23 January 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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