I was coming out of the National Gallery yesterday, stepping over one of the Muses in the floor mosaics ... when I stopped and thought,"What a very 1930s face!"
Now how many dozens, even hundreds of times, have I walked over these mosaics before and barely given them a glance? But sure enough, my Muse turned out to be Greta Garbo. In the National Gallery.
And then I started looking properly. And there was Churchill in a tin hat. And a Mitford sister and Virginia Woolf. And TS Eliot contemplating the Loch Ness monster. And Fred Hoyle as a steeplejack and Augustus John making inappropriate advances to Alice in Wonderland. The mosaicist Boris Anreps clearly had a sense of humour. But what really made me giggle was the corner depicting the Pleasures of Life. Well, I quite agree that a Christmas pudding is a pleasure ... but who would have thought of mud pies! I don't suppose there's another artist in the entire National Gallery collection who depicted mud pies.
And they were a Pleasure ... in fact, I think I enjoyed them more than the exhibition I'd come to see.
The information desk has a free leaflet if you're passing through and would like a key to who's who underfoot.