Meeting Mona Lisa – Boll-art in Winchester

June 8, 2012 by  

I was heading for my dinner at The Old Vine in Winchester when I glanced up and saw her standing there. The first time we met in Paris, I watched the crowds pressing up around her but I couldn’t get close. Then I ran into her again at an exhibition in Manchester and learned what lies below the varnish. It was Mona Lisa, the girl with the most famous smile in the world, staring at me from a painted street bollard.

Mona Lisa Bollard in Winchester Photo:

Mona Lisa Bollard in Winchester

As I glanced around I realised that Mona wasn’t alone but was one of a crowd of artistic bollards in The Square in front of Winchester Cathedral. There was the loved up Klimt couple on a golden bollard, the red, yellow and blue Mondrian squares, the Californian Hockney pool, the Lautrec can-can girls and Picasso’s languid lovely . It was boll-art gone as wild as you might dare in slightly-sedate Winchester.

Painted Bollards in Winchester Photo

Painted Bollards in Winchester

In Bristol we may paint murals on street hoardings and underpasses, but in amongst the medieval, historic and half timbered buildings of Winchester a painted bollard is street-art that’s quite in keeping with the surroundings.

Painted Bollards in Winchester Photo:

Painted Bollards in Winchester

To take a look at the painted bollards in Winchester, head for The Square near the entrance to Cathedral Close. I highly recommend the Old Vine in Winchester for drinks with friends in the trendy bar or dinner in the old inn restaurant. The smoked salmon mousse was both pretty and delicious and the bread and butter pudding is a house speciality.

Painted Bollards in Winchester Photo:

Painted Bollards in Winchester

Now let’s see how well you know your artists – hover over the photos to discover which is which.

If you’re visiting Winchester you may also enjoy my article – On the Trail of Jane Austin in Winchester

Visitor information for Winchester

There’s more information about the Painted Bollards in Winchester at The Colour Factory

We enjoyed dinner at The Old Vine near the Cathedral in Winchester – an old inn with stylish bar on one side and lovely food among the oak beams on the other.

We stayed in Winchester at The Winchester Hotel, a modern and stylishly decorated hotel and spa within walking distance of the town centre. Check for the best hotel prices in Winchester and book here.

For more information on things to do in Winchester and the surrounding area you will find the following websites useful;

Visit Winchester – the Winchester Tourist Information Site, they’re on Twitter too

Visit Hampshire – for things to see and do in the country of Hampshire, they’re on Facebook and Twitter

Visit South East England – Your guide for fun things to do and places to visit in south-east England covering Kent, East and West Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire

 Enjoy England – The English tourism board site with hundreds of ideas for enjoying and exploring England and insider tips at the Visit England Blog

This article is originally published at – Read more travel articles at Travel Blog Home

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11 Comments on "Meeting Mona Lisa – Boll-art in Winchester"

  1. Karen Guttridge on Fri, 8th Jun 2012 10:42 am 

    Aren’t they lovely? I visit Winchester fairly regularly and can’t believe I haven’t spotted them! Noticed from link that some painting only done in 2012 – so that’s my excuse! Trying to decide which is my favourite…
    Karen Guttridge´s last blog post ..Sheltering Schooners, Spanking Rituals And Luscious Loos

  2. Annette | Bucket List Journey on Fri, 8th Jun 2012 11:31 pm 

    Those are awesome!! The Mona Lisa one is my favorite.
    Annette | Bucket List Journey´s last blog post ..Harrod’s Food Hall & the $30 Bottle of Water

  3. Barbara Weibel on Sat, 9th Jun 2012 5:06 am 

    I Love street art! I’ve seen bulls in Chicago, Flamingos in Miami, clowns in Sarasota, Florida, and apples in Hendersonville, North Carolina. But these bollards are great (frankly, I don’t even know what a “bollard” is, but I like them painted up).
    Barbara Weibel´s last blog post ..PHOTO: All-seeing eyes atop the Swayambhu (Monkey) Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal

  4. Heather on Sat, 9th Jun 2012 5:18 pm 

    @Annette Yes, mine too especially as the Old Vine Inn was right behind it which seemed to emphasise that it’s a painting that’s been around for a very long time

  5. Heather on Sat, 9th Jun 2012 5:19 pm 

    @Karen Easy to miss but then I am a bit of a street-art fan so I have an eye for such things

  6. Heather on Sat, 9th Jun 2012 5:31 pm 

    @Barbara Well I think a bollard is designed to stop cars either parking or driving across the pavement – they are normally black which is very boring and having seen the ones in Winchester I’m wondering why more streets aren’t painting them.

  7. Barbara on Wed, 13th Jun 2012 3:29 pm 

    What a fun idea–elevating the mundane to art!

  8. Heather on Wed, 13th Jun 2012 10:10 pm 

    @Barbara Yes, I love street-art that’s appropriate to its location and the bollards were perfect for a historic town like Winchester

  9. Walking the South Downs Way near Winchester | Heather on her travels on Wed, 13th Jun 2012 11:48 pm 

    […] tips at the Visit England BlogMore to see in WinchesterOn the trail of Jane Austin in Winchester Meeting Mona Lisa – Boll-Art in’ Hinton Ampner – Hampshire photoset This article […]

  10. Review of The Winchester Hotel in Winchester | Heather on her travels on Thu, 28th Jun 2012 10:41 pm 

    […] and we could see why)More things to see in WinchesterOn the trail of Jane Austin in Winchester Meeting Mona Lisa – Boll-Art in Winchester Yellow fields with lacy edges – walking the South Downs Way near WinchesterVisitor […]

  11. 10 ways to spend a wonderful weekend in Winchester | Heather on her travels on Sun, 2nd Dec 2012 9:05 am 

    […] gets too crowded. We get slightly distracted by so many interesting things along the way, like the painted bollards around The Square where we had dinner the night before. Last night I’d only noticed Mona […]

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