Donegall Place, Belfast, Ulster, Northern Ireland. Note the Shakespeare lunette at the right. Text and photograph by Philip V. Allingham 2006. This image may be used without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose.

Brett's description mentions all the people portrayed in the lunettes:

In the centre of each facade is a Venetian window crowned with carvings. Betwen the ground floor windows are lunettes with robust portrait heads, full of character, slightly larger than life: Newton, Humboldt, Jacquard, Peace, Flora, Stevenson, Tom Moore and Watt in that order face Linen Hall Street; Michelangelo, Columbus, Washington, Mercury, Minerva, Shakespeare, Schiller and Homer face the back of the City Hall. Both architect and sculptor are unknown. (Brett, 36)

Brett reproduces in his book as plate 37 the Stevenson lunette in the Victorian Web and also the head of Moor" (plate 39). Since he displays these on the same page as Thomas Fitzpatrick's "Red Indian" (The Continent of North America), one of the semi-caryatids at 36 Victoria Street, he may have privately thought Fitzpatrick responsible for the remarkable lunettes — he admits this "possibility" in his building (facing p. 44). This rather idiosyncratic collection of people, personifications, and classical divinities includes discoverers, inventors, artists and poets; Watt would therefore seem to be the inventor of the steam engine and Stevenson might possibly be one of the once-famous "Lighthouse Stevensons," a family of Scottish engineers who built lighthouses in seemingly impossible locations. The English Stephensons (Robert and George) spell their name diffrently.

Other Views

References

Brett, C. E. B. Buildings of Belfast, 1700-1914. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1967.


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Last modified 12 September 2006