Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by William McLaren
King Arthur welcomes the Green Knight into the Banqueting Hall and invites him to dismount and eat with the company. Everyone is amazed to see the unexpected visitor, holding a bunch of holly in one hand and a large green axe in the other. The Green Knight turns down Arthur's invitation, instead issuing a challenge, that if anyone there is brave enough to exchange blows with him, he will give them his battleaxe
© Mary Evans Picture Library 2015 - https://copyrighthub.org/s0/hub1/creation/maryevans/MaryEvansPictureID/10435475
Chiswick House, Red Velvet Room ceiling J970259
CHISWICK HOUSE, London. Interior. View of the ceiling in the Red Velvet Room.
The ceiling is inset with painted panels attributed to William Kent and has usually been interpreted as an allegory of the Arts. The panels around the edge, for example, incorporate musical instruments, portrait roundels of gods and goddesses (Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Mars, Diana and Apollo) and their appropriate Zodiac signs. In the central panel the messenger god Mercury hovers above a stone arch, below which is a group of figures with further emblems of the visual arts: Architecture is represented by a bare-chested woman with a set square and a cherub with a plan of a Roman temple, Sculpture by a fallen bust of Inigo Jones, and Painting by a woman unveiling a self-portrait of Kent.
The radical alternative interpretation of this symbolism is that it alludes to the ritual of the Royal Arch masonic lodge. Red is the Royal Arch colour, so the red velvet on the walls is symbolic, as is the red drape which is being removed to reveal Kent's portrait in the ceiling. The traditional implements of the architect and sculptor, depicted in the ceiling, are likewise masonic emblems, while the combination of an arch below a rainbow which occurs in the ceiling painting was apparently a common subject of early Royal Arch lodge banners. The suggestion, therefore, is that this room could have been designed by Burlington and Kent - both of whom were certainly freemasons - to function as a masonic meeting place
© Jeremy Young
Liverpool Street Station AA061648
LIVERPOOL STREET STATION. London. Detail of the front of a Jaguar car parked within the station and the station roof in the background. Date range 1960-1972. John Gay
© Historic England
Car, Ceiling, Detail, Roof, Transport