Wednesday 3 February 2016

The Young Lovers, Festival Gardens EC4

The Young Lovers is a piece by Austrian-born artist Georg Ehrlich. It was created in 1951 for the second open air sculpture exhibition in Battersea Park, held at the same time as the Festival of Britain.
Festival Gardens were the City of London's contribution to the nationwide jamboree, also intended as a war memorial. They were laid out by Sir Albert Richardson, who designed a fountain with bronze lion's head spouts but no other sculpture.
However, in 1969 money for public sculpture became available at just the moment when The Young Lovers came on the market. Ehrlich himself had died in 1966, So now this elegant, optimistic, idealistic couple, clothed in just the right amount of tulle to avoid public comment, canoodle gently on the sunny side of the cathedral.
Ehrlich, a Jew, was a leading exponent of Viennese expressionism. When the Nazis moved in he was in London and wisely stayed, getting his wife to follow him with as many of his works as she could bring. They became naturalised Britons after the war.

No comments: