The Hitchcock mosaics of Leytonstone station
Updated: Nov 12
Vibrant tiled images celebrate the life and work of film director Alfred Hitchcock.
The passageway into and out of the Central line Underground station at Leytonstone has 17 colourful mosaics by Greenwich Mural Workshop. They depict scenes from Sir Alfred Hitchcock's films and life.
Born in Leytonstone in east London on 13 August 1898, Hitchcock started his film career in London at studios on the Islington/Hackney border before becoming a Hollywood legend.
His first feature film as director was The Pleasure Garden, made in 1925. Starting with Rebecca in 1940 and thereafter, Alfred Hitchcock made his films in Hollywood. His final film as director was Family Plot in 1976.
The mosaics were created to mark the centenary of Hitchcock's birth, but were actually completed in 2001.
They include 14 from a selection of his films, one showing a scene from his childhood, one of him at work as a director and one depicting him with Marlene Dietrich.
The 14 films, in the order of their year of production, are as follows:
The Pleasure Garden, 1925
The Skin Game, 1931
Number Seventeen, 1932
Strangers on a Train, 1951
Rear Window, 1954
To Catch a Thief, 1955
The Wrong Man, 1956
North by Northwest, 1959
The Birds, 1953
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He was nominated for the Academy Award as Best Director Oscar for Rebecca, Lifeboat (1944), Spellbound (1945), Rear Window and Psycho. His films received a total of 50 Academy Award nominations, covering 16 movies, winning six Oscars. Remarkably, however, he never won a Best Director award.
Easily missed among the mosaics at Leytonstone Underground station are two advertising posters preserved from a bygone age.
The Leytonstone mosaics also include scenes from Hitchcock's life.
Here he is as a young boy sitting on a horse outside his father's greengrocers shop at 517 High Road, Leytonstone in around 1906.
This shows him smoking on a sofa alongside the legendary German actress and singer, Marlene Dietrich, who appears to be much more up for a party than the master of suspense is.
Finally, this scene shows Hitchcock at work, doing what he does best, directing on a film set.
The Hitchcock mosaics at Leytonstone are a great example of the rich tradition of design and art on the London Underground.
I have posted some other examples of design on the Underground recently on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts and will periodically post more. Please follow my social media accounts to see them and many other London pictures and stories.
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