Ladies who lounge (12)

 Recently I started thinking about “Ladies who Lounge”. They’re ALL over London.
These two lovelies inspired me to look for more –

They decorate the entrance to the Royal Arcade, the Regency shopping arcade that runs between Old Bond Street and Albemarle Street in Mayfair.  I think they represent Plenty and Commerce.

The goddesses below are on the entrance of Caxton Hall in Westminster.

Below is another pair of goddesses; they are on an arch of the Drapers’ Company that leads from Throgmorton Street to Throgmorton Avenue..

The caduceus, held by Iris on the Drapers’ Hall arch, was a winged staff with two twined snakes. It was the symbol of communication and commerce, and usually held by Mercury (or Hermes to Romans). Here Iris is holding the caduceus and seems to have a pretty easy job while the boy does the manual labour, carrying a box of merchandise (perhaps new clothes for Iris?).
Funny how so many of the young ladies in the decoration of Drapers’ Hall are quite undressed – it’s a bit like the Abercrombie and Fitch ads where the young men have almost no clothes on, even though they are in ads for a clothing store.

P&O - Europa and bull - Lumix135

Here’s Europa and the Bull on the P&O Building on Cockspur Street. She seems very relaxed about being abducted by Zeus (in the form of a white bull).

Fulgora - PO on King Wm st - 2Sony180

This must be the Roman goddess Fulgora – Goddess of Lightning. Again, she doesn’t seem to be working very hard – but the sparks are flying. She is on a building attached to the church of St. Mary Woolnoth that was built as a Post Office, and opposite her is the Messenger god Mercury (or Hermes). But this is about LADIES who lounge.

Below are four of the eight lounging or floating ladies on the London Underground HQ that are called “The Four Winds”. The building at 55 Broadway in St. James’s was put up in 1927-29. These ladies were carved by the up and coming artists of the day.

SHOCK – I just read that 55 Broadway is going to be turned into Luxury Flats! Apparently this iconic building, which was the tallest building in London when it was built, is no longer “fit for purpose”. This is happening all over London!

Broadgate Venus - Sony 359

I had to put the Broadgate Venus into my story about Ladies who Lounge. Looks like she is just waking up. Maybe that’s appropriate for the centre of a large business campus where the workers stagger in at the break of day.

Victoria House was built for the Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society in 1921-34. Its giant Ionic facade was designed by Charles W. Long, and the pediments on the north and south sides are filled with sculpture by Herbert William Palliser.

Taxpayers behind Guildhall cropped 2Sony122

I think this sculpture behind Guildhall is very funny. I have named it “The Taxpayers” because it looks like they have given EVERYTHING to the government collectors.

Woman, Hammersmith Road SOny306

I came across this oddly unbalanced sculpture of a woman on Hammersmith Road. It must have been part of a larger piece or in a pediment.

National Gallery - Poilhyminia - Lumix138

These lounging ladies are part of the wonderful mosaics created by Boris Anrep in the entrance staircase of the National Gallery of Art. The whole scheme has areas with figures representing The Pleasures of Life, The Labours of Life, The Modern Virtues, and here, the Awakening of the Muses. Anrep used many recognizable faces on these mosaics – like Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, John Maynard Keynes, Winston Churchill, Greta Garbo and Bertrand Russell, but I cannot identify these Muses: Polihymnia (the Muse of Sacred Music) and Eurterpe (the Muse of Lyric Poetry).                (For more information read Boris Anrep: National Gallery Mosaics, by Angelina Morhange)

Southwark Cathedral 32 - Mr. Pills cropped - canon85

I had to include this memorial in Southwark Cathedral – it’s one of my favourites. It IS a man not a lady – but you must admit, he IS lounging. He looks as though he’s had a long enjoyable night and now has drifted off while reading his Bible. His name was Lockyer, but I call him ‘Mr. Pills’ because the inscription behind him says he was universally famous for the PILLS he sold!

Not all the ladies on public sculpture in London are lounging!
My post on “Girls in Helmets” shows another side of the story.

@Cathey Leitch, 2015