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The larger than human size statues depict eight Oceanids and a pair of aquatic horses. Originally they were part of a larger set of statues that was subdivided after the suicide of the initial purchaser. After a somewhat unpromising start, they were installed in their current location without the benefit of the original de for their display.
The statues spent several years as the backdrop for some of London's grandest garden parties. They subsequently passed by default into public ownership, and suffered some vandalism, but have been restored and remain to this day on view in the corner of a municipal garden. The statues are of Italian de, and come from Carrara. They are of a monumental scale with several of the individual blocks weighing over 5 long tons 5 t. The sculptures were acquired during the disposal of the property of the original owner after his death. Due to the unusual circumstances of their acquisition they had become separated from any instructions as to their intended layout, and also from at least one other group of statues in what was originally intended to be a larger statue complex or complexes.
Originally some of the ladies were holding pearls, but much of this detail has now been lost. There have been various theories as to the intended subject matter, with Pearl Fishers, Pegasus , Nai and the birth of Venus all having been suggested in addition to the usual attribution as Oceanides. For want of anything more official, they have become known as The Naked Ladies.
The complex is in the gardens of York House by the banks of the River Thames. The gardens have been laid out in an Italian style to give unrestricted frontal views of the statue complex from the entire width of the gardens. The statues are set in a rockery behind a pond, with trees and security fencing restricting side and rear views. The statues were amongst the property of the celebrated fraudster Whitaker Wright , who committed suicide by ingestion of a cyanide capsule upon being convicted of fraud. It is not certain where he acquired the statues, or who carved them.
The statues came into the de facto possession of Twickenham Council in when they purchased York House for their new town hall. The statues had been left behind by the owners, as they had been unable to find a buyer despite putting them up for auction.
In the Blitz during the Second World War, there was concern that moonlight reflecting on the statues would give a mark to the Luftwaffe. So as part of London's Blackout measures the statues were covered with a "grey sludge". As a result of local government reorganisation in the s Twickenham became part of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames , but the town hall remains at York House and the gardens continue to be open to the public.
The statues have gone through at least one major restoration to remove graffiti and the wartime grey cement, and reverse the effects of vandalism by replacing lost fingers, pearls and even a hoof. The Naked Ladies are one of the visitor attractions of Twickenham,  have a beer named after them,  and are a popular backdrop for wedding photos.
Profile view of complex showing cascade and dappling effect of reflections from the pool on the horses' wings. One lady helping another out of the pond the arm of the upper lady is carved as part of the lower sculpture. Not to be confused with the flower known as Naked Ladies. Frontal view, "topped by an Oceanid and two horses". Listed Building — Grade II.
View of pond, with water lilies. One of the Ladies reaching out for something, in front of part of the water cascade. National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 1 August Twickenham Museum. Retrieved 3 July Twickenham Past. Historical Publications. ISBN Retrieved 13 August Archived from the original on 28 October Inspired by the statues of water nymphs in York House gardens in Twickenham, known locally as the Naked Ladies. London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Parks, open spaces and nature reserves in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Public art and memorials in London.
James Cook Yuri Gagarin. Other monuments and memorials. Camden Kensington and Chelsea City of Westminster. The Artist as Hephaestus Piscator. Northala Fields. Key : No longer extant, on public display or in London see List of public art formerly in London. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes file. Download as PDF Printable version. Wikimedia Commons. Add links. Location within London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Statue complex on a rockery and water cascade. Wikimedia Commons has media related to The Naked Ladies.Naked girls in Enfield
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Enfield Ervin Fitzgibbon, 23, and Ryan Alvarez, 22, found with half-naked girl, 13