Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Lloyd's Four Elements

Last week, I shared the image of a pig from the 'four elements' bas reliefs in Lime Street. Created in the 1950s for the then-Lloyd's of London building, they contain references to the insurance business as well as a mixture of modern and mythological images. The reliefs are the work of sculptor James Woodford. They took three years to complete, and were finished in 1957.

Earth has a sower scattering seed; our pig and a rather surly sheep are at his feet. Fire has a phoenix and a fireman in rather anachronistic costume; air includes birds and, more prosaically, an aeroplane; and for water, we have Lloyd's lutine bell which rang to announce lost ships.


Hels said...

It has a wonderful deco feel, doesn't it? Even though the work was post-war.

Earth, fire, air and water.. all totally normal themes, I would have thought. Perhaps the references to the insurance industry are the funny bits :)

HughB said...

Surly sheep? That's an understatement! And glancing back, the pig looks as though he is harbouring dark thoughts: have they been reading Animal Farm?

LondonRemembers said...

Lovely sculpture. I think you mean James Woodford. More of his London work at http://www.londonremembers.com/subject/1285 .

CarolineLD said...

Hugh, I think you're right about the dark thoughts! Hels, it does have a deco feel - and there's something rather Egyptian about the fan of water, too.

London Remembers, you're absolutely right! Typo corrected - and thank you for the link, which I've added to the main text.