Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Cambridge bull sculptures

Los toros

Walk across the Hills Road Bridge and into Deloitte's offices in City House.  An unpromising entrance, architecturally ugly.  But what do you find once you're inside?

Cambridge bull sculpture


Bulls of bronze!

This one looks at you with defiant cluelessness.  Jaunty ears.  Short horns. A gloriously curved and taut tail.  Cloven hoofs.  And rolling folds along his chest.

Cambridge bull sculpture

A curly coiffure.  And over-awed bulging eyes.  His large round nostrils snort at you.

What is he doing here, in the lobby of an international financial advisory corporation? 

Cambridge bull sculpture

Viewed in profile, he looks less aghast and more determined.

Cambridge bull sculpture

Penetrate more deeply into the gleaming tiled lobby and encounter Bull Nr 2.

Cambridge bull sculpture

This one paws the ground, dynamic, intent, ineffectual.  Surrounded by potted palms and faux-marble stripes.

Cambridge bull sculpture

What is it you seek on your little bronze platform, o bull?

Cambridge bull sculpture

Humped and muscular.

Cambridge bull sculpture

Kind of weird and incongruous.

But kind of majestic.


Who is the sculptor?  What is their title?  Who commissioned them, and when, and why?  I have no idea.

I call them los toros (pronounced with a Spanish accent) but that's just my personal name.  Not quite because of Picasso's Guernica but more because of the Osborne bulls that stand around in Spain:

Manolo Prieto, Spanish Osborne bull, 1956 (ad for Osborne Brandy de Jerez; this one's near Seville)
Source:  wikimedia, © Grez

And feature in Bigas Luna's film Jamón Jamón.

More bull sculptures

There are loads of bull sculptures out there.  Here's a selection:

Pan He, Pioneering Bull, 1984, Shenzhen, China
Source: News Guangdong

Karl Henning Seemann, The Bull of Brand (suburb of Aachen / Aix,
in Germany), 1976
Source: wikimedia, © Arthur McGill

Paul Mersmann, Bull (Aurochs), 1934, Alboin Square, Berlin-Schöneberg
Source:  wikimedia, © Lienhard Schulz

Laurence Broderick, Bull, Bull Ring, Birmingham, 2003
Source:  wikimedia, © Green Lane
Sally Matthews, Tarw (Welsh Black Bull), National Botanic Garden of Wales, c.2009
Source: Garden of Wales

The Bull of Wall Street lurches madly.  He is a guerrilla sculpture, transported to Wall Street in 1989, after the stock market crash (one of the many?) in trucks by the artist.  And now still there, a tourist attraction.
It has affinities with Deloitte's.

Arturo di Modica, Charging Bull (aka The Bull of Wall Street), 1989
Source:  Redhotmarketing
What are your associations?  Bull and multinational business?  Bull and minotaur?  Bull and matador?   Bull and agriculture?

P.S. Children will love these.  I used to look at them through the window with my son on the way to school.  One day we entered and were amazed.

Read my follow-up post:  

Mystery sculptor revealed!  The astonishing story of the Cambridge bulls

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