The great poet sits silent upon a peak, pensive, with his beloved Newfoundland dog Boatswain staring lovingly up from his side, in this monumental statue of 1880 by Richard Charles Belt.
The plinth, a monstrous 57 ton block of red and white marble, was donated by the Greek government in recognition of Byron's service in the cause of independence.
Belt was an assistant in the studio of the sculptor John Foley, later moving to one of Foley's pupils, Charles Lawes and going solo in 1875. He won a competition for the Byron Monument in 1879.
After the unveiling, however, Lawes alleged in the pages of Vanity Fair that Belt used foreign assistants to create all his work including the Byron statue. Belt sued for libel and won, bankrupting Lawes in the process (but don't be too distressed: Lawes later copped a huge inheritance).Today, sadly, the statue is almost inaccessible in the centre of one of the busiest roundabouts in London. The poet is barely able to hear his own thoughts above the traffic noise.