Showing category "Art" (Show all posts)

Radical Mural Tucked Away in Battersea

Posted by Dr Stephen King, Westminster Tour Guide on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, In : Art 

Hidden away in Battersea is an amazing piece of street art, showcasing not only the delights

of the local Thames river front, but also the area’s radical political history. On a former pub

on Dagnell Street is the wonderful “Battersea in Perspective” mural, done by local artist

Brian Barnes. Centre stage is Battersea Park and the Peace Pagoda, with the Thames and

the Albert and Chelsea Bridges either side.


The golden circles in the sky represent the Battersea Shield. This Celtic shield dates...


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The Text on the Monument

Posted by Ian McDiarmid, City of London Tour Guide on Thursday, March 11, 2021, In : Art 

The Monument was built between 1671-1677 to commemorate the Great Fire of London of 1666 which ended up destroying four-fifths of the city. It is a column standing on a very large pedestal, some 20 feet high, much of which is covered in dense Latin writing.

This goes unremarked today, partly because so few of us read Latin. Then as now only a minority of people would be able to read it, even if in the 17th century Latin was a more important language and in theory if you were a gentleman it was...


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Lockdown Street Art – A Tribute To The NHS

Posted by Susan Baker, City of London Tour Guide on Friday, August 14, 2020, In : Art 

Lockdown has been such a strange time for us all but there has been so much culture available to us online.  However, the other day whilst making my way through the back streets from the South Bank to Waterloo Station I came across a physical example of what has been produced.  A celebration of the heroes of our time – the NHS - through street art.


Under the railway bridge between Waterloo and Waterloo East is this tribute - the NHS as Superman - by Lionel Stanhope. He trained as a sign writ...


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FREE Rembrandt Exhibition at The British Museum

Posted by London Guided Walks on Thursday, May 2, 2019, In : Art 
The British Museum is a wonderful place to visit, especially when you are dipping in to see something specific.

Many of us Londoners would say they are familiar with the British Museum and have ticked off the main display items but few, I would suggest, have visited Room 90 on the Upper Level. Therein lies a free exhibition on Rembrandt. Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669) is among the best-loved artists in the world. 

It may surprise you that The British Museum has one of the gre...
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Old Flo Returns!

Posted by London Guided Walks on Tuesday, November 7, 2017, In : Art 

Henry Moore’s Draped Seated Woman has returned to the East End after taking a 20 year holiday at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Purchased in 1962 by the LCC under its ‘Patronage of the Arts Scheme’ where sculptures by leading artists were acquired for housing estates, schools and other public places for the benefit of local people. 

Draped Seated Woman was placed on LCC’s Stifford Estate in Stepney, where it gained the nickname ‘Old Flo’ by the residents and where she stayed for 35 years...


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‘Sacred Bodies’ by Sara Burgess

Posted by Hazel at London Guided Walks on Thursday, March 16, 2017, In : Art 
Art in Nunhead Cemetery, 20 Feb - 22 April 2017
Nunhead cemetery hosts ‘Sacred Bodies’ by Sara Burgess her first solo exhibition of her metal sculpture work in an outdoor space. This art exhibition explores our connection between the inevitable physicality of our earthly, human existence and our violation to overcome suffering.
‘Iron Maiden’ is a stylised wrought-iron torso in a female form; highlighting the enduring discrimination against women throughout the ages and took 50 hour...

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Michelangelo & Sebastiano exhibition review

Posted by London Guided Walks on Tuesday, March 14, 2017, In : Art 

Credit Suisse Exhibition: Michelangelo & Sebastiano plays homage to two of Italy’s great Renaissance masters, Michelangelo and Sebastiano del Piombo.

The large altarpiece The Raising of Lazarus by Sebastiano (NG1) was one of the first paintings in the National Gallery and so it seems quite surprising that Sebastian is not so well known with those not so immersed in the Renaissance art world.

The National Gallery’s latest exhibition is the first to explore the creative partnership between ...


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New Solo Show to open at Curious Duke Gallery

Posted by London Guided Walks on Saturday, March 11, 2017, In : Art 



Solo Show of Contemporary Artist Louise McNaught explores the theme endangered animals through paintings and 3D painted sculptures at the Curious Duke Gallery, currently London's leading urban and contemporary art space for emerging artists. 

The exhibition on opens Friday 7th April. McNaught's wonderfully colourful combinations of animals and neons where the animals are ‘God-like, sublime and ethereal in their luminescence.’ 

McNaught embraces a mixed-media approach which is motivated by e...


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Paddington Bear hits London

Posted by Guided walks in London on Monday, November 17, 2014, In : Art 
As a child of the 80's I grew up with the cartoon of Paddington Bear who wore an old black hat, a blue duffel coat and had an unhealthy relationship with marmalade. I have never been a fan of the sweet citrus nectar but certainly could relate to the well mannered bear as I too had a duffle coat and very often found myself in surprising situations.

The star studded Paddington film hits the UK 29 November. To assist it's launch 50 statues of Paddington Bear have graced the streets of London.  ...
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Spriggan in Crouch End

Posted by London Guided Walks on Saturday, September 13, 2014, In : Art 

Spriggan, a guardian of abandoned ruins in Crouch End

Spriggans, a guardian of abandoned ruins in Crouch End

The sculpture depicts a Spriggan - a mythical creature, usually of rather ill disposition, which is said to be a guardian of abandoned ruins, barrows and buried treasures. Sometimes Spriggans would even steal human children and leave their own ugly offspring behind, so be on guard if out walking with your kids!

This particular Spriggan is a work of an internationally acclaimed London-base...

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Artist Walter Sickert in Highbury

Posted by London Guided Walks on Thursday, August 28, 2014, In : Art 

Walter Sickert, Victorian artist & actor

At 1 Highbury Place there is a Georgian building with the green plaque was once Walter Sickert’s school of painting and engraving.



Walter Richard Sickert was a late Victorian painter who came from an artistic family. He had a particular fondness for Islington which was a major presence at both ends of Sickert’s life, personally and professionally.


It was a 5yr old Walter Sickert who first visited Islington. In 1865 he attended St Mark’s Hospital, Ci...


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What does the Coat of Arms of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries mean?

Posted by London Guided Walks on Saturday, August 23, 2014, In : Art 

What is a Coat of Arms?

During medieval times a coat of arms was very important. It told everybody who you were, what family you belonged to, who your relatives were, what territory you may hold. It basically said everything about a powerful person that you wanted (and needed) people to know.

A coat of arms is a unique design belonging to a particular person (or group of people i.e. the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries) and is used by them in a wide variety of ways. Some of these ways include...


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History of Mason's Yard, Mayfair

Posted by London Guided Walks on Thursday, August 21, 2014, In : Art 

History of Mason's Yard, Mayfair

Mason's Yard SW1

Ormond Yard was laid out as a 200 feet square plot of land originally designed to be a stable yard and by 1740 the yard was already being called Mason's Yard, probably due to the owner of the two houses fronting both the yard and Duke street was a Mr Henry Mason. It would make sense for him to have rented some stables in Mason's Yard.


In 1748 the London Evening Post reported a death 'at his House in Duke-Street' of a Mr. Margison 'who for several...


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Rhinoceros in London

Posted by London Guided Walks on Thursday, August 21, 2014, In : Art 

The worshipful Society of Apothecaries's Hall is filled with rhinoceros, but why?

It's probably one of the most famous and certainly one of the most influential images of an exotic animal to be made.

Towards the end of 1515 Manuel I of Portugal sent an Indian rhinoceros as a present to Pope Leo X. Private menageries housing exotic animals were popular in aristocratic circles in Europe in C15th & C16th. 

Durer drew a rhinoceros without having seen one. He used a description and a living sketch of...


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The National Police Memorial

Posted by London Guided Walks on Thursday, August 21, 2014, In : Art 

National Police Memorial

Seated at Cambridge Green, on the corner of The Mall and Horse Guards Road, directly outside the Old Admiralty Building.The site had previously been occupied by an air shaft on the Bakerloo Line of the London Underground.


The National Police Memorial consists of two distinct parts; a black granite clad tablet with a glass cabinet containing a book listing the names of every British police officer killed during arrests or as a result of criminal acts. Alongside that is t...


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Royal Artillery Memorial, Hyde Park Corner

Posted by London Guided Walks on Thursday, August 21, 2014, In : Art 

What is the objective of having a war memorial? 

To remember the dead? To bask in the glory of sacrifice for King and country? Ex-servicemen were quoted by the Manchester Guardian as reminiscing about the war as they examined the statue, and remarking on how the bronze figures had captured the reality of their time in the artillery. The newspaper noted that the frankness of the portrayal was a "terrible revelation long overdue", and hoped that veterans would be able to show the monument to the...


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Christie's in London

Posted by London Guided Walks on Thursday, August 21, 2014, In : Art 

Christie's is the world's oldest fine art auctioneer and has sold fine art, furniture, jewellery and wine since 1766, when James Christie conducted the very first sale in London. Since then, Christie's has continued to build its reputation as the perfect backdrop for the sales of the world's finest collections and greatest works of art before their auction. 


It was in 1823 when Christie's moved to its global headquarters at 8 King Street, St. James's, which remains to be its London headquarter...


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The lamps are going out all over Europe

Posted by London Guided Walks on Wednesday, August 20, 2014, In : Art 


One hundred years ago Sir Edward Grey, Foreign Secretary stated to his friend and journalist John Alfred Spender, editor of the Westminster Gazette "the lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time." It was dusk as he was watched the first of the gas lights along the Mall were being lit. The next day Grey would face the Cabinet and persuade them that the time had now come to declare war on Germany.

From what had been a European war, when Britain declare...


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