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24/05/2009

Angel Of Peace, Bronze Quadriga, Wellington Arch, London


This is a closeup photo of the the bronze quadriga of the Wellington Arch. Also known as Constitution Arch or (originally) the Green Park Arch, it is a triumphal arch located to the south of Hyde Park in central London. The arch, and Marble Arch to the north of Hyde Park, were both planned in 1825 by George IV to commemorate Britain's victories in the Napoleonic Wars. The Wellington Arch was also conceived as an outer gateway to Constitution Hill and therefore a grand entrance into central London from the west.
The Wellington Arch was built between 1826-1830. In 1846 the Arch was selected as a suitable location for a statue of Sir Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, soldier and Prime Minister. The statue by Matthew Cotes Wyatt which eventually crowned the arch was 8.5m high, the largest equestrian figure ever made. It was so enormous that it generated considerable controversy at the time.
In 1882-3, the arch was moved a short distance to its present location on Hyde Park Corner to facilitate a road widening scheme. It is today in the centre of a large traffic island.
The equestrian statue of the Duke was removed to Aldershot at the same time and was eventually replaced, in 1912, by a huge bronze quadriga. The sculpture depicts the angel of peace descending on the chariot of war. The face of the charioteer leading the quadriga is that of a small boy (actually the son of Lord Michelham, the man who funded the sculpture). The statue is the largest bronze sculpture in Europe.

1 comment:

roentarre said...

The perspective looks amazingly powerful. Good capture