Prince George, Boris Johnson, David Beckham and Simon Cowell amongst the caricatures painted by Gerald Scarfe for namesake bar at Rosewood London

April 7, 2014

Gerald Scarfe, renowned British artist and caricaturist has lent his name and artistic vision to Rosewood London’s Scarfes Bar where his completed art work is now revealed. Gerald’s collection of amusing and conversation-provoking paintings, highlighting his best work, adorn the marble walls turning the Scarfes Bar into a living canvas, described by Gerald as “my personal art gallery, where you can see my life on these walls”.  

Gerald’s collection of original and one-off paintings, now a permanent feature in the bar, add a unique twist and depict well-known historical and famous faces recounting the colourful history of the United Kingdom in Gerald’s witty and satirical way.  

Scarfes Bar features 11 large canvases with over 70 caricatures painted especially for the bar by Gerald. The majority of caricatures are brand new creations for Scarfes Bar, but with the addition of re-created highlights from Gerald’s archive, including Pink Floyd’s The Wall, which is perhaps what he is best known for. Working as the political cartoonist for both The Sunday Times and The New Yorker for many decades, Gerald has also designed the sets for numerous plays and operas around the world, however, Scarfes Bar is the first bar on which he has collaborated. Gerald comments “I am, of course, tremendously flattered and I reason that, if the Prince of Wales can have a pub named after him, why shouldn’t I have a bar?” 

Eight canvasses on one wall depict well known British faces through Gerald’s eyes. These include politicians such as David Cameron, Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, Nick Clegg, Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson who he has illustrated as a clown on a unicycle. He has also painted key show business and music personalities such as Charlie Chaplin, Harry Potter, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Simon Cowell and David Beckham who he has drawn with two golden balls; one being a football and the other being the world. Not forgetting Royalty, Gerald has painted the Duke of Edinburgh, The Queen, with her Corgi’s (of course) Prince Charles, Prince Harry, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and also what must be the first ever caricature of Prince George. 

Three other canvasses depict ‘Scarfe’s World’ and give a retrospective of Gerald’s life through the re-creation of some of his most popular and well-known projects. This includes The Magic Flute, Walt Disney’s Hercules, The Nutcracker and of course the album artwork Gerald did for Pink Floyd’s The Wall and the animation for the film.  

With the aim of the bar being artfully social, there is also a smaller changing exhibition. Dubbed the current affairs corner, this wall is what Gerald deals with on a daily basis as his life as a political cartoonist. Featuring a collection of prints from Gerald’s archive, the current affairs corner will change on a bi-monthly basis or as topics in the news arise.  

The lunch menu at Scarfes Bar has been created by head chef Palash Mitra (previously at the Cinnamon Club) and is overseen by Bjorn van der Horst, Rosewood London’s director of food, beverage & kitchens. The menu comprises a delectable selection spicy Indian curries and European-style casseroles. With its own entrance off High Holborn, Scarfes Bar is open daily for residents and non-residents from midday to 1:00 a.m. Lunch is served from noon to 3:30 p.m. and a range of bar snacks and light dishes are available throughout the evening.    

Scarfes Bar, inspired by the atmosphere of a drawing room and the sophistication of a gentleman’s club, features a roaring fire, a collection of cosy velvet armchairs and shelves   filled with over 1,000 antique books hand-picked by a Portobello antique dealer. A creative menu of cocktails and complimentary live music six nights a week all add to the conviviality and certainly give true meaning to the phrase ‘get scarfed’  at Gerald’s Eponymous bar where potions and paintings meet.