Saturday, January 2, 2010

Horsing around London's spectacular statues...

On my recent visit to the U.K. I had the opportunity to take a walk from Hyde Park Corner, through Hyde Park and up to London's Marble Arch.

Horse Head sculpture at Marble Arch
Horse Head statue by Nic Fiddian-Green
On my stroll, with the wintery cold seeping into my bones, I was captivated by the impressive sculptures that London had to offer.

Horse Head by Nic Fiddian-Green
Horse
Living there for over ten years you take for granted and I'd actually forgotten the wealth of art, architecture and history there is all around in Britain's capital city.

Horse Head sculpture
Horse Head statue by Nic Fiddian-Green
As you can see from the photographs, after a night of snowfall, the sky was amazingly clear blue and it was a lovely day to be meandering in the park away from the hordes of festive shoppers on Oxford Street.

Horse Head sculpture
Nic Fiddian-Green's Horse Head statue
One of London's latest sculptural additions if this giant Horse Head by sculptor Nic Fiddian-Green.

Marble Arch
Marble Arch London
At an impressive six tonnes and standing 27ft tall the Horse Head is the centerpiece of a £2.1 million rejuvenation plan for London's famous Marble Arch and was unveiled in June 2009.

Horse Head sculpture
Horse Head sculpture Marble Arch, Londonn
I have to say I'm impressed by this choice of sculpture as it's certainly eye-catching and I'm sure it will become a tourists' favourite photo opportunity in years to come.

Achilles statue Wellington Memorial
Achilles bronze Wellington Memorial Hyde Park
Another statue that caught my eye on my travels was this mighty bronze of Achilles at the Monument to the Duke of Wellington in Hyde Park.

Statue of Achilles: Monument to the Duke of Wellington
Achilles statue Wellington Memorial London
This heroic 18 foot high creation from 1822 was by sculptor Richard Westmacott and its total height including the sculpture, base and mound on which it stands is 36 feet.

Statue of Achilles in Hyde Park
Achilles sculpture Wellington Memorial Hyde Park, London
The Wellington Monument commemorates the first Duke of Wellington and his victories in the Peninsular War and the latter stages of the Napoleonic Wars.

Achilles sculpture by Richard Westmacott
Achilles statue Wellington Monument Hyde Park
Another muscular male statue that stood out at Hyde Park Corner was this nude sculpture of David holding the sword of Goliath.

Statue of David at Hyde Park Corner
Machine Gun Corps David sculpture Hyde Park Corner
The statue is flanked by wreathed machine guns to commemorate the heavy losses by the Machine Gun Corps in World War I. The evocative 1925 sculpture is by Francis Derwent Wood.

Machine Gun Corps Monument
David with Goliath's sword sculpture Hyde Park Corner
Finally the other sculpture that you can't help but glimpse atop the Constitution Arch (or Wellington Arch) at Hyde Park Corner is The Angel of Peace descending on the Quadriga of Victory.

Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner
Angel of Peace descending on the Quadriga of Victory sculpture
It's such a shame there are not more sculptures like this winged beauty around L.A. as it would make a welcome addition to my Angel Quest, although it did remind me of the art on the streets of San Francisco.

The Angel of Peace descending on the Quadriga of Victory
Angel of Peace statue London
This sculpture is by Adrian Jones from 1912 and the Arch itself was built between 1826-1830 and designed by Decimus Burton.

The Quadriga, Wellington Arch
Angel of Peace statue at Hyde Park Corner
Depicting the Angel of Peace descending on the chariot of war, apparently this statue is the largest bronze sculpture in Europe.

Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner
Angel of Peace sculpture Constitution Arch
It really is amazing what you can see in London in between rushing around catching up with friends. Hopefully next time my camera will be in full working order and I'll be able to get even more fantastic shots.

For now enjoy these and I'll see what other delights I can uncover around California in the coming months...

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