This is the Albert Memorial in London’s Kensington Gardens. It was commissioned by Queen Victoria in memory of her husband Prince Albert, who died in 1861 aged only 42. As you can see, it was a gloomy English summer day when I took these photos, and Albert’s extensive gilding was by far the brightest thing around. I was attending two Proms at the Royal Albert Hall (just across the road) that day.
One a recent visit to Paris, I was struck by the quantity of gilding flashing in the light. I didn’t remember there being quite so much gold on previous visits! These two photos are of two of the four statues that sit at the corners of the Alexandre III bridge over the Seine. “Four gilt-bronze statues of Fames watch over the bridge, supported on massive 17 metres (56 ft) masonry socles [that] are crowned by Fames restraining Pegasus.” (source) I was confused by these “Fames”, and another wikipedia entry says, “In Greek mythology, Pheme (Roman equivalent: Fama) was the personification of fame and renown, her favour being notability, her wrath being scandalous rumours.”