SLO- Journal Nr. 37. Robba fountain

The Robb fountain exhibition – the story of the city symbol is related to the installation of the fountain originals into the middle section of the National Gallery and its copies to the original site. The fountain of the three Carniolan rivers is regarded as one of the most important baroque monuments in Ljubljana and Slovenia. Today, one of the most recognizable city symbols in Ljubljana was commissioned in 1743 by Francesco Robbi, who was then the leading sculptor and stonemason in the city. In front of Robb’s fountain there was a fountain with a Neptune image. Due to the new baroque city palaces and new cathedrals, the city’s baroque area wanted to be upgraded with a new well.

The idea and example: Bernini’s Fountain of Four Rivers, educated at Pietro Baratti in Venice, found the basic idea and an example of a fountain with an obelisk found at Bernini’s Fountain of Four Rivers in Piazza Navona, Rome, and most likely, when designing a whole, leaned against a well near the Pantheon to the Roman Piazza della Rotonda, which was reformed in 1711 by Filippo Barigioni.

Robba harmonized his triangular creation with three directions from which spectators could come to the market outside the City Hall. The present name was received only in the first half of the 20th century.

A fountain with three directions, with three male figures, holding water jugs in their hands, were only identified a few years after the installation of the well as the gods of the Sava, Krka and Ljubljanica rivers. A view of each water man looks out into the street and looks at the passers-by with a glance. Today’s name – The fountain of the three Carniolan rivers – however, the monument was only aquired in the first half of the 20th century. What is interesting about the well are the two freshwater fish and the dolphins carved after the Baroque pattern. Here, a new chapter of content opens, which delves the theory of the three Carniolan rivers and one replaces the sea. The figure standing next to the dolphin could thus be Neptune and relate to the Jason story with ‘the argonauts’.

The relocation of the well began in 2005 with an intervention, which involved the dismantling of the most endangered elements of the well, and it ended in 2008, when the fountain was placed in the connecting trail of the National Gallery.