Public Art in London
London’s streets and parks are positively packed with public artwork. From large sculptures to magnificent street art and hidden murals, we’ve rounded up some of the best public artwork in London for you to explore on your daily walk.
1. The Vitruvian Man
In homage to the artist Leonardo Da Vinci, this iconic bronze sculpture was made by Enzo Plazzotta and Mark Holloway in 1982. As a replica of the two-dimensional art, the giant sculpture is a study of the male form. Situated in Belgrave Square, this hidden sculpture can be seen through the gates and is well worth the visit.
Location: Belgrave Square
2. Single Form by Barbara Hepworth
With the original larger pieces displayed in New York at the headquarters of the United Nations, this monumental bronze sculpture replica is over 10 feet high and sits in Battersea Park as a Grade II listed sculpture. The cast is a memorial to the artists’ friend Dag Hammarskjold; the UN Secretary General who died in a plane crash in 1961.
Location: Battersea Park
3. Newton by Eduaro Paolozzi
You may have seen Paolozzi’s work elsewhere across London, such as the murals at Tottenham Court Road station or the mechanical head near the Design Museum. However, the hunched over statue of Isaac Newton outside the British Library is the artist’s most famous work. The natural philosophers curved posture is inspired from a drawing by William Blake. The mixture of art and science forms an appropriate symbol for the British Library.
Location: The British Library
4. Crystal Palace Dinosaurs by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins
As the world’s first dinosaur sculptures and survivors, the iconic sculptures at Crystal Palace are a host of fact, fiction and imagination. In celebration of the wonderful scientific discoveries and discovery of Dinosaurs, the Victorians educated the masses through creating these five prehistoric creatures that remain within the grounds of Crystal Palace Park.
Location: Crystal Palace Park
5. Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle by Yinka Shonibare
This magnificent scaled down replica of HMS Victory, the ship captained by Nelson, sits outside the Greenwich National Maritime Museum, clearly visible across Greenwich Park. The one-thirtieth scale replica includes detailed fabric and sail patterns inspired by African dress fabric and rich patterns.
Location: National Maritime Museum
6. Shaftsbury Memorial Fountain by Alfred Gilbert
Often mistaken for his brother, Eros, the Shaftsbury Memorial Fountain is a figure sculpture of Anteros, the avenger of unrequited love. Designed in 1803, the fountain and sculpture sits proudly in Piccadilly Circus and is a well-loved symbol of London.
Location: Piccadilly Circus
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