.'.Monument Frieze .'.

Caius Gabriel Cibber was born in Germany and moved to London after completing his friezestudies. He was not really good with money, and after gambling his and his wife’s fortune away, he ended up in the debtor’s prison across the river in the infamous Clink. Sir Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke received court permission and during the construction of The Monument Cibber was released during the day to work on his sculpture, but had to go back during the nights. The sculpture on the west panel of the pedestal, facing Fish Street Hill is one of the most interesting sculptures in the City of London. The Frieze is allegorical which means it tells us a story, which in this case is the story of destruction of London on the left and the reconstruction on the right. Each character symbolises or represents different things, so let’s start from the left side: Sitting on broken masonry, holding a sword, we have a Lady representing the CITY OF LONDON, she is on the top of a dragon that has been the symbol for the City for centuries. Behind her Father TIME is helping the City to get back up, he also has the help of Mercury representing INDUSTRY, who is holding a Caduceus – a symbol of commerce and negotiation. On the left side everyone is walking towards THE CITY. The centre character, King Charles II is dressed as a Roman Emperor, standing on a stone platform with a baton of command in his right hand as he gestures towards the personification of ARCHITECTURE. Architecture is holding a square and a compass in her left hand and the plans for the new City on her right. LIBERTY is behind her holding her cap bearing the words LIBERTAS. Another figure balances the representation of NATURE in her hands, a symbol of abundance. On the right side of King Charles II stands his brother, the Duke of York, who helped to put out the fire and is also representing VICTORY. Behind them we have two figures, JUSTICE with a coronet, and FORTITUDE with a reined lion. Beneath them ENVY gnaws on a heart and emitting fumes from her mouth. We also have some people at the back, we can see 2 scenes, on the right London is on Fire and on the left London is being rebuilt. Above it all hovering in the Sky, between foreground and background we have PLENTY and PEACE.

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