Up the Wellington Arch with Beatrice the Angel of Peace

English Heritage are doing a cleanup on the largest bronze sculpture in Europe – the quadriga of the Angel of Peace by Adrian Jones. Note the war booty in that chariot and the mixed message of the olive branch in one hand and the laurel wreath of military victory in the other. Producer Tom Sabbadini (who also took the photos) and I got a bird’s eye view for Radio 4’s Front Row. Historian Steven Brindell gives a wonderful insight into the creative genius of Adrian Jones, his obsession with this masterpiece and the level of detail far beyond any normally lavished on a work to be displayed so far above street level. He also gamely speculates on my wild suggestion that the golden Angel of victory above the Siegessaule in Berlin looks rather similar. Maybe there was a royal rivalry with the British King’s Prussian cousin? And how do we know she’s really called Beatrice? You can find out here on tonight’s programme and iplayer after.

All photos copyright Tom Sabbadini and BBC. No reuse permitted

About samiraahmed

Journalist. Writer. Broadcaster.
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