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One of Bernini's most magnificent creations is located in Rome on Piazza Navona. In the center is an obelisk (although it is pseudo-Egyptian and has nothing to do with the sculpture of the master). An interesting fact is that Bernini was not admitted to the competition for the development of a project to install an obelisk. But the vanity of Pope Innocent X helped Bernini bring his creation to life. Seeing the project of the sculptor, dad decided to entrust the work to him, not Borromini, as previously planned.
The fountain attracts attention with the elegance of the sculptures that make up the composition, their organic arrangement and ideally combined forms. The fountain also organically blended into the architectural ensemble of the square - it is now difficult to imagine without Bernini's sculpture in the center.
The sculpture got its name from the light hand of the master, who planned to combine 4 rivers from around the world in his creation. Here the Nile found its embodiment, which is considered the heart of Africa, the Ganges is the sacred river for the Hindus, the Danube, as the largest river in Europe (known at that time), and the small river La Plata, which symbolized the New World.
The symbolism of the sculptures does not end there: the position of the river spirits, their movements and robes tell a whole story. The sculpture of the Danube spirit holds the symbol of papal authority and the emblem of the Pamphili family, which was in power at that time. Bernini arranged gold coins next to the spirit of the La Plata rivulet, because the New World was very rich.
The spirit of the Nile is covered with a veil, or rather, his face is not visible. There were two reasons for this decision: they have not yet learned where this river originates from, and as a sign of respect for the creations of the opponent Borromini. The face of the Nile is turned towards the church of Sant'Annese, whose architect was Borromini. Fearing that the building’s facade could collapse, Bernini showed his respect for the opponent’s creativity.
It is also known that the sculptor did not work independently on the statues. They were carried out by his students, following the sketches and exact instructions of the teacher. Bernini created the project and led its implementation. Perhaps this was the reason for the lack of unsurpassed plasticity of the movements of the statues, which was always inherent in the works of Bernini himself.
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