Saturday, February 28, 2009

Veiled statue

This statue is lying on the fontana dei quattro continenti in Piazza Unità.

It is an allegory of the River Nile, pouring water from a pitcher into the shell below, but why is it veiled?
The source of the Nile were unknown for a long time, indeed even the Emperor Nero sent two centurions in search of the headwaters, but they were bogged down in the swampy marshes and got no further, but it was only finally discovered at the end of the 19th century.
This explains why the male figure representing the river was sculpted with its face obscured by drapery, as mysterious as the source of the river. There is another famous veiled statue, in Piazza Navona in Rome, in the fountain of the four rivers.

5 comments:

Vogon Poet said...

I really like detail in sculpures, and this one, with your fine explanation, makes an excellent post.

Dave-CostaRicaDailyPhoto.com said...

Thank you for the interesting story of the meaning of the veiled statue.

chrome3d said...

There must have been water pouring from that vase. That would have been the icing on the cake here.

somebirdsarelikethat said...

molto interessante - grazie! vado a roma in marzo e guardaro' per la altra figura nella piazza navona!

Trillian said...

Mi piaccioni molto le sculture velate, grazie per l'indicazione dell'altra statua a Roma.