TWO Summer Art Walking Tours
By Lucy Moore for Issue 22 of The Covent Gardener and Issie 1 of The Mayfarer
The Covent Gardener
1) A tour round the public art of Covent Garden must start at Seven Dials, where a replica of the original sun-dial pillar was erected in 1989 to commemorate the tercentenary of the Glorious Revolution and the arrival in England of William and Mary of Orange as monarchs.
The original column was put up by the entrepreneur and developer Thomas Neale in the 1690s, but taken down less than a century later because it had become a gathering point for ‘undesirables’, Covent Garden then being the site of much roistering. At one point there was a pub on each of the seven apexes facing the dials…
2) Mayfair has its fair share of museums and a generous sprinkling of galleries but some of its best art is out on the streets, available to all – weather permitting. A stroll covering an area of about half a mile takes the art-loving flaneur past nine completely different pieces spanning three thousand years of history.
Begin at the tree-shaded southern end of Berkeley Square, where the nineteenth century statesman Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, third Marquess of Lansdowne, is commemorated by a marble nymph pouring water into a public drinking fountain. (Lansdowne lived at Lansdowne House, overlooking the square, which was later rented to Harry Gordon Selfridge.) This figure, by the pre-Raphaelite sculptor Alexander Munro, was placed here in 1867; she combines elegance with a public-spirited concern for thirsty passers-by.
Let us know how many pieces you already knew about.