Thursday’s Special: Symbolism


Four couples in love, a baby and an old man are shown as bronze figures surrounding a fountain in the centre of Zagreb.

zdenac zivota_pf

The sculpture, whose life-size statues are evocative of Rodin’s work, shows movement and continuum of the cycle of life. Paired human figures are embracing the well, the source of life with joy and carelessness, driven by love, life’s greatest mystery and its ultimate purpose.  


 The central figure in Meštrović’s masterpiece is the old man at the end of his life who is contemplating the accumulated water (the life he lived) with regret.


Ivan Meštrović, the most renowned Croatian sculptor and one of the world’s greatest sculptors of the 20th century, created his “Well of Life” (Zdenac života in Croatian) while still a student in 1905. In 1912 the sculpture was placed on the square before the building of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb where it still stands.



This post is my response to guest challenge themed “symbolism” and hosted by Madhu. Please see her post and join her for this exciting challenge. Happy Thursday everyone!




Click on the links bellow to see the entries for this challenge:

Proud Kiwis

Symbolism by Klara

Tulip Festival in Istanbul

 Taj Mahal

Il Duomo di Milano


 The symbolic equipment

The Giant CITGO Sign

75 Comments on “Thursday’s Special: Symbolism

  1. A fantastic choice for the theme of symbolism Paula! Your photos do justice to that amazing sculpture. Love the close-ups. And the accompaniment! 🙂


    • I’ve only seen it from outside. This is a terrific entry for this challenge, Klara. Thank you.


  2. A fine interpretation. Especially moving is the old man gazing into the water – his reflected life – so many layers of meaning captured here, Paula.


  3. Ivan Meštrović was a remarkable sculptor indeed! Thank you for sharing this beautiful art and music with us Paula.
    Stor *KLEM* to you ❤


        • Hello Draco 🙂 Normally, here you can see all forthcoming challenges This Sunday I have a guest blogger participating and his theme is perspective and anti-perspective shown in two shots. Would you be willing to host a challenge (B&W or colour) some time this year. All you have to do is to come up with the theme and shots and let it be published on my blog?


          • I’ll give it some thought. The hard part is guessing what weeks I will be posting.
            You know I’m taking more and more time off from blogging. It’s May, and I’ve only done 12 posts (i.e. 6 weeks of blogging) so far.


            • I know Draco, and I am sorry you can’t spend more time on blog. I hope that it can change for you and that the reason gor your scarce appearance is not boredom.


  4. Pingback: Taj Mahal, Hindustan | artishorseshit

    • Thanks Linda. I am happy when I manage to show some of the unique pieces of art in my town, This one is really outstanding.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Just fantastic presentation of one of the most iconic, recognizable and unique sculptures in Zagreb. I dare say “Well of Life” is for Zagreb what Lady Liberty is for New York, Eiffel Tower for Paris and Big Ben for London. Any other sculpture or landmark from Zagreb can easily be misplaced in any other European city but not the Well of Life. If you ever visit Zagreb try to find it, sit around it, throw a coin in it and make a wish.


  6. Pingback: Catharsis | Art and Life

  7. Pingback: The symbolic equipment | Le Drake Noir

    • Yes! Rodin said about Mestrovic that he is “greatest phenomenon amongst the sculptors of the world”, and he even posed to him for his portrait in Mestrovic’s studio in Rome. It was a mutual admiration 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • So glad you like it Hilary. Did you have a chance to see some of Mestrovic’s work before?


    • Hello Jalal 🙂 I am very happy that you have seen this post. You are right about the universal message. So lovely to see your comment. Best wishes to you and your family.


  8. Excellent post. Sculpture is an art that I have long wished that I had a natural gift for. I have always loved it, especially Renaissance and Beaux Arts bronze work. It is so expressive.


  9. Pingback: Circle of Love | Lost in Translation

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