June 18, 2017

ENGLAND : Trafalgar Square - Nelson And King George IV Statues

URBAN-STREET VIGNETTES

King George IV and Nelson's Column


Statue of King George IV on horseback and Nelson's Column at Trafalgar Square in London, England, UK


George IV of the United Kingdom

George IV (George Augustus Frederick; 12 August 1762 – 26 June 1830) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of Hanover following the death of his father, George III, on 29 January 1820, until his own death ten years later. From 1811 until his accession, he served as Prince Regent during his father's final mental illness.

George IV led an extravagant lifestyle that contributed to the fashions of the Regency era. He was a patron of new forms of leisure, style and taste. He commissioned John Nash to build the Royal Pavilion in Brighton and remodel Buckingham Palace, and Sir Jeffry Wyattville to rebuild Windsor Castle.

His charm and culture earned him the title "the first gentleman of England", but his poor relationship with both his father and his wife, Caroline of Brunswick, and his dissolute way of life, earned him the contempt of the people and dimmed the prestige of the monarchy. He even forbade Caroline to attend his coronation and asked the government to introduce the unpopular Pains and Penalties Bill in a desperate, unsuccessful attempt to divorce her.

For most of George's regency and reign, Lord Liverpool controlled the government as Prime Minister, with little help from George. His ministers found his behaviour selfish, unreliable and irresponsible. At all times he was much under the influence of favourites. Taxpayers were angry at his wasteful spending at a time when Britons were fighting in the Napoleonic Wars. He did not provide national leadership in time of crisis, nor act as a role model for his people. Liverpool's government presided over Britain's ultimate victory, negotiated the peace settlement, and attempted to deal with the social and economic malaise that followed. After Liverpool's retirement, George was forced to accept Catholic emancipation despite opposing it. His only child, Princess Charlotte, died before him in 1817 and so he was succeeded by his younger brother, William.

Nelson's Column

Nelson's Column is a monument in Trafalgar Square in central London built to commemorate Admiral Horatio Nelson, who died at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The monument was constructed between 1840 and 1843 to a design by William Railton at a cost of £47,000. It is a column of the Corinthian order built from Dartmoor granite. The Craigleith sandstone statue of Nelson is by E.H. Baily, and the four bronze lions on the base, added in 1867, were designed by Sir Edwin Landseer.

The pedestal is decorated with four bronze relief panels, each 18 feet (5.5 m) square, cast from captured French guns. They depict the Battle of Cape St Vincent, the Battle of the Nile, the Battle of Copenhagen, and the death of Nelson at Trafalgar. The sculptors were Musgrave Watson, William F. Woodington, John Ternouth, and John Edward Carew, respectively.

It was refurbished in 2006 at a cost of £420,000, at which time it was surveyed and found to be 14 ft 6 in (4.4 m) shorter than previously supposed. The whole monument is 169 ft 3 in (51.6 m) tall from the bottom of the pedestal to the top of Nelson's hat.


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