It’s not Eros in Piccadilly Circus. Do you know who it depicts?

Everyone knows that the statue in Piccadilly Circus is the statue of Eros – mostly that’s because it’s the name to which it’s commonly referred.

Well, the truth is that it’s not a depiction of Eros, but Anteros, his twin brother. Londonist explains why our confusion over the name,

Gilbert [the sculptor] spent a long time considering how to celebrate the life of Shaftesbury, a philanthropist and social reformer. Lord Shaftesbury campaigned against many injustices, such as child labour conditions, limiting child employment in factories and mines.

For five years Gilbert considered various ideas to celebrate the charitable life of the Earl. He eventually decided on a fountain, topped with the winged figure of Anteros, the ancient Greek symbol of Selfless Love.

Gilbert described Anteros as portraying “reflective and mature love, as opposed to Eros or Cupid, the frivolous tyrant.”

But the English, with our unhelpfully generic singular word for ‘love’, whether its love for your grandma, your hot new boyfriend or your baby niece, struggled with this idea. The boy with the bow and arrow was Eros, and neither explanations nor re-branding exercises were going to change that.

It was the first sculpture in the world to be cast in aluminium and is set on a bronze fountain.

Diego Delso,, License CC-BY-SA

Surrey Heath’s art collection on view

Over the years generous donors have gifted Surrey Heath with paintings and drawings. Some of that collection is on display in Surrey Heath Museum’s current exhibition of the Borough’s art collection. Here’s my photo of some of the paintings on show and the exhibition details. On show is my favourite painting from their collection – The Washing Line by Percy Harland Fisher.

Painting of the week No.13: The Harbour Bar by Edwin Ellis

Those among you who are regular readers here will, no doubt, be expecting a painting of the week, being as we visited the Picture Gallery at Royal Holloway last week.

Not being one to disappoint, here’s No.13 in the painting of the week series. It’s The Harbour Bar by Edwin Ellis 1842-1895 [click on image to expand]. You can see this painting and the others [there are three in my painting of the week series – see below the painting] on the upcoming Heritage Open Day on Sunday 11th September.


The Harbour Bar, Edwin Ellis [1842-1895]

There are three of the Royal Holloway pictures in my Painting of the Week series,

July events planner; music and culture take centre stage

Here’s a list of local events in July,


Google Cultural Institute – images of cultural treasures from around the world

I guess we all know Google for internet search, and Google Maps with its clever Street View.

How many of us will have come across Google Earth, with its associated Google Mars, Google Moon, Google Ocean, Google 3D Buildings, Google Sky, and Google Historical Imagery.

I’m thinking far fewer people will have encountered the Google Cultural Institute, which aims, in super-high-resolution gigapixel images, to capture exhibits and collections from museums and archives from around the world, all in extraordinary detail.

Hypebeast in its article – Google Is Preserving Great Works of Art With Its Own Super High-Res Camera – reports that the arrival of Google’s owns high-res camera has speeded up the process of image capture from 1 day per image to 1 image every 30 minutes.

To be able to view art in detail is amazing – just like standing close-up to the physical object. Try it for yourself and see how good it is. Click on image below to link to the website.

Google Cultural Institute