PICADILLY PEACE STATUE
Wouldn't it be wonderful if there really were someone grabbing the reins of war and gaining control of the rampaging steeds, as is portrayed in a sculpture in Picadilly Circus? ~ JJ
This description of the sculpture is excerpted from an article in the London Independent, by Simon Carr:
"... When we drive round Hyde Park Corner and glance up at the top of the Wellington Arch we notice a dramatic, equestrian statue. There are four stallions pulling a war chariot. At the back of the chariot, a winged woman stands looking down, making a large, graceful gesture, clearly blessing the driver's trampling of the country's enemies.
It's amazingly dramatic, full of violence and conquest. The woman is the spirit of War, by the look of her, the spirit of English warfare, of victory; she's some sort of Boudicca and her proud indigenous horses are crushing Roman interlopers. The sculptor seems to have been in the cavalry, and indeed this turns out to be the case.
It's a splendid evocation of international relations prior to the First World War. The ensemble is called the Quadriga, and the horses are reproduced full size in Piccadilly Circus. You can look at them closely there: the detailing of the horses' teeth; the genital sheath like a portable cannon; the flying hoofs; the wild manes.
But this isn't half the story. When you look more carefully at them in their natural habitat (which isn't easy as the arch on which it sits is 100 feet high) inconsistencies start to appear. The driver of the chariot is actually a boy, he's 10 years old and wearing an odd sort of slack-jawed expression. He's no charioteer. And the reins are slack, which is at odds with his role. He's not controlling the horses, they're rearing up of their own accord. From the notes in the booklet (buy it in the little office inside the arch itself), it turns out our first impression is the opposite of what is actually going on. The horses aren't trampling the enemy, they're pulling up in mid-charge. The driver's jaw is dropping with astonishment, he doesn't know what's going on; it's all out of his control. He is unaware of the being that has descended into the cab behind him.
She's no Boudicca after all, nor the spirit of victory, she's the angel of peace, carrying an olive branch; the war is over. It is her silent, spiritual power that is pulling the horses out of the charge.
Her grave, kind face is an Edwardian vision of woman's goodness. And the child is bewildered, frightened even. He doesn't understand peace at all, except that he probably doesn't like it much. It's what art used to be like..."
Trafalgar's naked sculpture revealed (deformed woman 8 months pregnant the new model of female heroism). BBC, ThisIsLondon, Sep 15, 2005. Go to ORWELL ON SALVADOR DALI ("Such pictures are not morally neutral. They are diseased & disgusting.")
One million. And still they came (Britain's greatest peace march). London Observer, Feb 16, 2003. Go to ORWELL WOULD BE PROUD!
All together now, let's sing the EU National Anthems, London Independent, Nov 4, 2002
...the British national anthem wias written in French, in France by a Frenchman about a French monarch. "God save our gracious King" was first addressed to Louis XIV. Britain's adoption of it suggests an admirable degree of Euro-enthusiasm before it became fashionable...
JFK AT BRANDENBURG GATE, (which is ALSO topped with a Quadriga, placed there in 1794)
JFK & KHRUSCHEV (pulling in the reins of war)
MAMAS DON'T LET YOUR BABIES
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~