Sunday, December 21, 2014

Trieste Italy Fountain of the Tritons Sculpture Part 2 of 3

Dear Art-loving friend,

     While on a layover in Trieste, Italy, I found the Post Office on one side of a grande piazza.   As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog postabout the architecture of Trieste, the city looks more Austrian than Italian, at least in parts.  This is one of those parts.   

     Even though I knew that I would be waiting a long time inside the post office, I decided to get a good look at this beautiful sculpture of three figures holding up a shell in the well designed Piazza Vittorio Veneto.  La Fontana dei Tritoni (The Fountain of the Tritons) was not running, no doubt because of the colder season upon us, but still it is lovely.

     Two of the figures are male, the third is female and her legs EACH become tails [while theirs do not].  Did the artist make these choices for a reason other than varying composition?  Hmmm.. I could not tell you.  I tried to find information on the sculptor once I arrived to my new home in Umag, Croatia.  I found a name that could be the one inscribed in the stone:  Austrian sculptor Franz Schranz.  However, the dates given for this artist are (1747 - 1835) and say that he is a painter, not a sculptor.   While my photograph of the signed fountain makes it hard to read the artist name, the date seems much clearer to be:  1899.  I had found another blog or Web page in an image search for this fountain and that was how I came up with the Franz Schranz name in the first place.  That page said the fountain was DESIGNED by him.  Perhaps that is accurate and someone else executed the sculpture.  However, if he is listed as a painter and not both painter and sculptor, I think the search could continue. 

     How could anyone make such a large work and in relatively recent history and have no one know the artist?  Hahah… maybe that is a silly question.  But perhaps the City of Trieste knows more and we silly travel bloggers do not stay in town long enough to ask or follow-up.

     I enjoy the chiseled fine features in the face, as you see in the first close-up image posted here.  At first I thought it was sweet that two of the figures were holding hands, but upon closer inspection, they are not really.  He is holding onto her, while she holds onto the structure.  Is he just THAT muscular or is his arm tensing muscle as he uses force upon her arm?  Is he helping or hurting?  He looks way more relaxed in the front shot of him.  And in general, all of the figures look as if the artist had recently studied anatomy and wanted to show off his knowledge of each and every sinew.

    I remember very clearly, my friend and mentor Vasily Fedorouk saying, “When you learn to play the piano, you learn each and every note.  But when you make music, you do NOT play them all at once!”


     The other male Triton at first seemed a bit disconnected from the couple.  I thought that he was looking down, lost in his own thoughts while under the burden of his shared task.  However, look at my close-up shot of the Nereid (and her grapefruit breasts!).  She seems to be looking towards him, as if wondering if she is catching his attention!  Is she lifting her hair so that he can get a better glimpse at the goods?  And he… he appears to be looking her way, unable to get a full gander because of his position.  Are they flirting with one another?  Hahah.. well, why not?  Life is hard enough when you have a load on your back!  And if morality is the problem, well, they are probably destined to live the life as Tantalus did… any movement affects the whole and they are kept in place by their mutual task of holding up the shell fountain.

Thoughts without action can be torture!  

Enjoy the Solstice and this longest night of the year!
And in case you missed my recent art newsletter about Carrara and BLIND stone carvers, please click here:
Thank you.
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Thank you for your interest and enthusiasm,
~ Kelly Borsheim, sculptor, painter, writer, teacher

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