Sunday, February 22, 2015

Prudential Assurance War Memorial

London
Prudential Assurance 1914–18 War Memorial
By Ferdinand Victor Blundstone, 1922
Prudential Assurance Building (Holborn Bars)
Holborn, City of London
London, September 2014

“This large bronze of angels bestowing the wreath of victory on a dead soldier whose body rests on the rubble of modern warfare, such as sprockets from a tank, displays its modernity — and its success as a war memorial — by its sharp contrast of the awkward legs of the corpse and the enclosing grace of the shape created by the two female angels. According to most theological commentary, angels do not have gender since they do not procreate, but by conceiving these crowning angels as such obviouslly sexualized figures, Blundstone sharply emphasizes a gender divide while conveying the idea as old as the Trojan War that men die for glory and for the sake of women. One thinks of the passage near the close of Conrad's Heart of Darkness which presents the Kurz's fiancé and other women back in Brussels as one of the many hearts of darkness.”
(Prudential War Memorial, The Victorian Web)

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