This cartoon of the area around Trafalgar square is a small section of a rather interesting caricature created by Hartwig Braun, of a view of the West End and the City – looking east from a point somewhere well above Victoria station. It’s not a map – I wouldn’t navigate with this! – but a nice, colourful artwork showing the most iconic buildings and features of the area. Many of the taller buildings appear to “grow out” slightly organically from the ground, emphasising their height more than a photo or map would indicate.
The print is dated to 2008 so it’s missing some of London’s most recent changes, such as the Shard and the Heron Tower, and includes the familiar satellite dishes on the BT Tower which have sadly just been removed for safety reasons. But, nit-picking aside, the wealth of detail is impressive. There is individual traffic – tiny little trains (with the appropriate liveries!) leaving Waterloo, horses on the Mall, people in Trafalgar Square, and tour buses around Green Park. Sadly the image doesn’t quite stretch to show the UCL campus, although the University of London’s Senate House is on the horizon. Plenty of Union Flags are fluttering in the breeze, although I was also pleased to somewhat unexpectedly see a Scottish Saltire. If you look really carefully, you can even spot the Queen and some corgis:
As well as the full colour one shown here, there is a blue-and-orange version, and a white-on-black one. Arty Globe also sent us an orange-and-black version, which has instantly divided opinion in the office, with everyone very firmly liking one or the other, but never both.
You can get these prints by visiting the Arty Globe shop in Greenwich, or through their online store, the images are available in various other forms too.
Many thanks to the Arty Globe gallery in Greenwich for letting us know about the prints and sending us a copy to pore over.