There is so much architecture, art and history in St Georges Hall, Liverpool I have decided to break it down into a series of fact sheets.
Designers and Architects would often use the human form to help visualise an idea, concept or thought.
This notion has been employed on two sets of friezes on St George’s Hall in Lime Street, Liverpool. One sequence portrays the growth of “Justice,” the other the city of “Liverpool.”
Built in the 1840’s the building was designed to be a concert hall and law courts.
The growth of “Justice” is the subject matter illustrated and is symbolised by a female figure.
We start with “Justice” as a small naked child, she is being taken by the hand and guided by “Conscience” whilst being followed by “Joy” as “Justice” grows.
To the right is “Wisdom,” the lamp is carried in such a way as to show that wisdom comes from the heart. The figure is based on Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom and war.
We now observe the temptations that can befall the purity of “Justice.”
“Justice” raises her left arm defensively towards “Fame” while resisting the pull of “Wealth.” “Justice” refuses to be diverted from her purpose.
“Justice” has now matured, she supports the world, on which the Roman numerals 1 to 10 have been inscribed. These refer to the 10 Commandments.
“Knowledge”, to the left, passes “Justice” the rod of Knowledge. Whilst doing so she raises her veil to show that things previously concealed are now revealed once “Justice” prevails. “Right” assists “Justice” in supporting the globe and is wearing a brass plate to protect “Justice” from the evils of the world.
“Justice”, once established, is now able to stand alone. She points upwards to show that true justice is heaven sent.
The removal of all crime leads to “Justice” becoming redundant.
“Virtue,” on the left passes onto “Justice” the palm brand of victory and takes in return the sword. “Justice” also passes over the scales of justice to “Concord.”
The final scene shows “Justice” receiving a kiss from “Righteousness” and the crown of immortality from “Glory.”
“Glory” holds a flaming heart to signify divine love.
- “Liverpool” Frieze-St Georges Hall, Liverpool-History Fact Sheet 2
- Athena – Greek Goddess of Wisdom and War.
- The Ten Commandments.
- The Sword and Scales of Justice.
- Crown of Immortality
Please feel free to comment, make suggestions and leave any questions you may have.