Tired of London, Tired of Life - A website about things to do in London



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4 February 2014

Admire Boris Anrep's National Gallery Mosaics

Some of your author's favourite artworks at the National Gallery are found not hanging on a wall or standing on a plinth, but instead beneath the feet of the hundreds and thousands of who enter via the Gallery's Portico entrance each day. Four mosaics by Russian-born artist Boris Anrep were installed between 1928 and 1952. First came, 'The Labours of Life' and 'The Pleasures of Life', installed in 1928-9 and then 'The Awakening of the Muses' on the half-way landing, featuring Clive Bell as Bacchus, Diana Mitford as Polyhymnia, Virginia Woolf as Clio and Greta Garbo as Melpomene.

The final mosaic, 'The Modern Virtues', did not arrive until after the Second World War, and features among others, Sir Winston Churchill as defiance, fighting a beast in a shape of swastika, T. S. Eliot as Leisure and Bertrand Russell as Lucidity.

For more, see http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/history/sculptures-and-mosaics/

^Picture by Mike Quinn used under a Creative Commons license^

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