Well of Life (sculpture)

Zagreb, Croatia

Well of Life (sculpture)


The Well of Life (sometimes also At the Well of Life or the Fountain of Life; Croatian: Zdenac života) is a sculpture by the Croatian sculptor and architect Ivan Meštrović installed in front of the Croatian National Theatre on Republic of Croatia Square in Zagreb, Croatia. It depicts people in various phases of life that crouch and twist their bodies around a well which symbolizes life, youth, and the source of eternal beauty.

The sculpture is circular with relief of ten naked figures, a child, love couple and the old man, life-size, that crouch and twist their bodies around a well which contains water. Strong facial expressions of the figures show the joy of life which alternated rhythmically makes the life cycle. The figures are watching their reflections in the water, while their bodies appear to have been frozen in motion. The figures are arranged so that they show to viewer the purpose of the well, i.e., desire for life and joy, which can be seen best in young characters who are hugging and kissing as opposed to the old man who is at the end of his life and looks with grief into the well, a symbol of life. The sculpture depicts man's natural cycle, from birth to death.

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