“The Tradition of General Knowledge”*

Image: see second entry below.

From e-architect: The Three Graces Liverpool:

“The site encompasses a trio of landmarks, built on the site of the former George’s Dock and referred to since at least 1998 as “The Three Graces”:

– Royal Liver Building, built between 1908 and 1911 and designed by Walter Aubrey Thomas. It is a grade I listed building consisting of two clock towers, both crowned by mythical Liver Birds. The building is the headquarters of the Royal Liver Friendly Society.

– Cunard Building, constructed 1914-16 and a grade II* listed building. It is the former headquarters of the Cunard Line shipping company.

– Port of Liverpool Building, built from 1903 to 1907 and also grade II* listed. It is the former home of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board.”

From Wikipedia:

“The Horses of Helios, also known as The Four Bronze Horses of Helios, is a bronze sculpture of four horses by Rudy Weller. It is one half of a commission installed in 1992 when the adjacent Criterion Theatre was refurbished. The other half, the Daughters of Helios or Three Graces, is a sculpture of three women leaping off the building six stories above.

The Horses of Helios comprises three bronze elements with dark patina: one pair of horses weighing approximately 4 tons, and two single horses. The four rearing horses appear to be bursting from the water of a fountain. It depicts Aethon, Eous, Phlegon, and Pyrois – the four horses of Helios, Greek god of the sun.

The sculpture was installed in 1992 in a fountain under a canopy at the base of the building at 1 Jermyn Street, on the corner where Piccadilly meets Haymarket, near Piccadilly Circus in London. The building is adjacent to the Criterion Theatre, and was installed when the theatre was refurbished.

The Daughters of Helios or Three Graces depicts the three Charites – Aglaea, Euphrosyne, and Thalia – who in some accounts are the daughters of Helios and the naiad Aegle. The three female figures are made from gold-leaf-covered aluminium. They are installed at roof level, as if leaping off the 6th floor of the building immediately above the horses below.”

From an *oration (reprinted in “Ideals and Idols” 1979) delivered by Professor E H Gombrich at the London School of Economics and Political Science on 8 December 1961:

Professor Gombrich opened his oration with a reference to Agatha Christie’s Lord Edgware Dies:

“…the murderess…has neglected one thing which is apparently needed for success at Claridge’s, her classical education…

…”The Judgement of Paris?” asks the murderess in her melodious voice. “Why, Paris does not cut any ice nowadays. It is London and New York that count.”

“It was an awkward moment,” says the narrator…

…My knowledge about the Judgement of Paris comes mainly from hearsay. I must have read some potted version of Greek legends as a boy, but I would not regard it as general knowledge had I not picked it up again from stray references and from the works of many artists who enjoyed the opportunity of rendering a beauty contest among three Goddesses, as Rubens did in his marvellous canvas in the National Gallery…”

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