Friday, October 16, 2009

Whispering angel on the corner of Sunset & Vine...

As Madonna would say, 'Who's that girl' on the corner of Sunset & Vine? That's what I was wondering, and just what is that cherubic little angel whispering into her ear?
Lady riding a bull statue at Sunset & Vine
My Angel Quest has taken me all over L.A., but my latest find was shrouded in a little bit of mystery.
Whispering angel sculpture in Hollywood
Who was this bare-breasted woman riding atop a charging bull, with dolphins scampering about his hooves?
Sunset & Vine bull statue
Was she a Greek goddess being tempted by a mischievous angel or are the components of this sculpture meant to represent the signs of the Zodiac?

There's the 'water' from the fountain and the leaping dolphins, the bull could be Taurus and represent the 'earth' signs, the naked woman could be Virgo and the winged angel could depict the elements of 'air'? But what about the 'fire' signs?
Whispering angel statue at Sunset and Vine
Or was I simply overcomplicating this and there was nothing here more than a quirky statue on the corner of Sunset & Vine in the heart of Hollywood.
Hollywood Time Capsule plaque
My main problem was that there was no information to enlighten me about the statue's origins. What there was however a metal plaque to mark the place where an Entertainment Industry Time Capsule was buried in 1954 to commemorate the history of Hollywood.
The Flight of Europa sculpture Sunset & Vine
It was buried on this famous corner as it was the location where Cecil B. DeMille directed Hollywood's first full-length feature, 'The Squaw Man', and the site became the birthplace of Paramount Pictures.
The Flight of Europa sculpture Paul Howard Manship
This corner of Sunset & Vine was formerly home to the Washington Mutual Bank (which was a victim of the recent global recession), which I thought may help my search criteria and so with that in mind and some further online research I managed to find some more information about the sculpture.
Mysterious bull, lady and angel statue in Hollywood
This could in fact be a sculpture called 'The Flight of Europa', by prominent American sculptor Paul Howard Manship, who famously designed the golden 'Prometheus' fountain sculpture at the Rockefeller Center in New York City.
Raging bull statue at Sunset & Vine
But the internet can be both enlightening and frustratingly nebulous. Sometimes there's just too much useless content to trawl through (or even none at all), before you can find any verifiable information.

If anyone can verify the name or origins of this impressive sculpture and its sculptor that would be greatly appreciated. I'll keep investigating, but in the meantime enjoy the statue and this new angel sighting.

I wonder where I'll find my next angel and what interesting history it will have...

6 comments:

mhr said...

You are right about the title and sculptor. See http://www.you-are-here.com/sunset/vine_sunset.html

The building was originally a Home Savings of America. In the 1960s architect Millard Sheets designed many Home Savings buildings in a similar style (murals, sculptures, etc.), some of which still exist in Southern California, although they are no longer Home Savings.

Jason in Hollywood said...

Thanks so much for the verification and information - it's a wonderful sculpture so I was surprised to find so little info about it online.

mhr said...

Hello again. I kept thinking this sculpture must be myth-based, and I finally came upon this: http://www.imamuseum.org/explore/artwork/499

Jason in Hollywood said...

That is just excellent, thanks for all your help - so Greek god Zeus is the bull abducting the Asian maiden Europa to crete, with the dolphins to represent the sea.

How cool! Thanks again for the info!

Medium C said...

Thanks for finding the name of this sculpture - we passed by it today and wondered what the story was. FYI, folks, that's not just any kind of bull - that's an aurochs. The aurochs is the bull of antiquity - the kind of animal featured in countless ancient statues and in paleolithic cave paintings. The last one died in Poland in 1627.

More aurochs info:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurochs
http://users.aristotle.net/~swarmack/aurochs.html

Jason in Hollywood said...

Hey thanks for the info, it's always great to receive useful comments!

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