A beautiful oak carving of Saint Barbara was purchased by the NGV in 1945, the last year of the war. She was first put on display in the Buvelot Gallery in February, 1946. In the National Gallery of Victoria’s quarterly bulletin (Volume II, No I, 1946) Daryl Lindsay* writes:
Barbara fell ill with longing to embrace the Christian faith. Her father, concerned at her failing health, delivered a physician to the room at the top of the tower, but the physician was a doctor of the soul, not of the body. He gave Barbara instruction, and baptised her in the name of the father, son and holy spirit.
Barbara was dragged back to the prefecture and held to trial by the prefect, Martinianus. She was paraded naked through the town, but the angels concealed her in a mystical fog. She was tortured each day, but overnight all of her horrific wounds healed. She was bound and stripped to be burned at the stake, but the torches were blown out by the breath of the angels. Each injury and attempt on her life that she survived only made the lady more radiant. Finally, in a rage, her father grasped Barbara’s long, golden hair, and hacked off her head.