Public Art Around The World

More Than Just The Plaque

Il Porcellino statue

Little Pig

Public Art: Il Porcellino (Little Pig)

Sculptor: Copy of Pietro Tacca’s (1547) statue in a 17th century fountain in Marketo Nuovo, Florence. This is one of many copies cast by the Florence foundry, Fonderia Ferdinando Marinelli.

Date: 1962

Description: Brass statue of a boar with water slowly pouring from its mouth into a basin. The bronze basin is decorated with frogs, snails and snakes.

Location: Outside of Sydney Hospital, Macquarie Street, Sydney, Australia.

Commissioned: Donated by Marchessa Clarissa Torrigiani

History: Il Porcellino (The little pig) statue, which is located outside the Sydney Hospital, is a copy of a Pietro Tacca’s wild boar statue in a 17th-century fountain in Marketo Nuovo, Florence. The statue by Tacca was believed to be a copy of an ancient Greek marble boar sculpture.

In 1962 five copies of Tacca’s sculpture were cast by the Florence foundry, Fonderia Ferdinando Marinelli. One of the copies was donated to the Sydney Hospital by Marchessa Clarissa Torrigiani in memory of her father and brother. Both had been renowned surgeons at the hospital. Marchessa saved as hard as she could for seven years to purchase Il Porcellino. The Little Pig is a much-loved icon to the residents and visitors of Sydney and you can often see people giving it’s snout a good rub for good luck.  

The other copies of Il Porcellino can be found in California, Florence, Canada (University of Waterloo) and British Colombia (Butchart Gardens, Victoria).

Good luck

Special Powers: It is believed that if you rub the boar’s snout he will bring you good luck.

Crazy Facts: The wild boar even has special outfits which he wears on special occasions to help raise money for the hospital.

The Fonderia Artistica Ferdinando Marinelli is Florence’s only remaining artistic foundry.

The Arboretum Boar was sculpted by William John Coffee in 1806 from drawings of Tacca’s 1612 version.

In 1962, five copies of Tacca’s sculpture were cast by the Florence foundry, Fonderia Ferdinando Marinelli, for public display. They now reside at the University of Waterloo (Canada) , Sydney (Australia); California; Florence; and in Butchart Gardens, Victoria, B.C

There are Il Porcellino Copies Everywhere

University of Waterloo- Ontario, Canada
Viansa Winery – Sonoma, CA, USA
Lyndon Center – Lyndon, VT, USA
Sutton Park – New York, USA
University of Arkansas campus – Fayetteville, AR, USA
Sydney Hospital – Sydney, NSW, Australia
Derby Arboretum – Derby, Great Britain
Butchart Gardens – Victoria, BC, Canada
In front of the Deutschen Jagd- und Fischereimuseum,- Munich, Germany
The Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdom amusement park at Queensbury, NY.
Place Richelme – Aix-en-Provence, France
R.W. Norton Art Gallery – Shreveport, LA
Museum of Outdoor Arts – Englewood, CO
Country Club Plaza -Kansas City, MO, USA
Brotorvet – Holstebro, Denmark
Poinsett Plaza – Greenville, SC
Musee du Louvre – Paris, France

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