Prešeren Monument (Ljubljana)
|Artist||Statue: Ivan Zajec|
Pedestal: concept by Ivan Zajec, design by Max Fabiani, stonemason Alojzij Vodnik
The Prešeren Monument in Ljubljana (Slovene: Prešernov spomenik), also Prešeren Statue in Ljubljana, is a late Historicist bronze statue of the Slovene national poet France Prešeren in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. It stands in the eastern side of Prešeren Square, in front of the Central Pharmacy Building in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. It is among the best-known Slovenian monuments.
The statue that stands on a pedestal includes a sculpture of the poet, facing the window where his adored Julija Primic used to live, and a sculpture of a Muse above him sitting on a rock and holding a laurel branch in her hand. The poet is dressed in the outfit of the period and holds a book symbolising his Poems (Poezije). The sculpture of Prešeren is 3.5 metres (11 ft) high, and the entire monument is 9.6 metres (31 ft) high. There is a small statue on the building that Prešeren faces, as well.
The pedestal of Prešeren's statue is made of Pohorje tonalite and has three steps. Above it, there is a cut rock block with the inscription "Prešeren". The lighter base of the muse is made of Tyrolian granite. It was made by the stonemanson Alojzij Vodnik per a design by Max Fabiani, who based his work on a concept by Ivan Zajec. A letter about the erection of the monument and some coins have been built into the pedestal.
There are two bronze reliefs on the lower part of the pedestal, depicting scenes from Prešeren's Poems. The right one, titled Farewell (Slovo) or Črtomir and Bogomila (Črtomir in Bogomila), depicts a scene from the poem The Baptism on the Savica. The left one, titled Fisherman (Ribič), depicts a scene from the poem Fisherman. The reliefs on the pedestal were created by Zajec. They have a Classicist composition, a Realist cadre, an impressionist final touch, and emphasise Prešeren's Romantic poetry with its content. The upper part of the pedestal is decorated with a stylised lime tree, reminding of the poet's homeland's symbol.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (May 2012)
Creation and unveiling
The idea for the Prešeren monument was first proposed by a group of grammar school students in 1889. In 1891, it was supported by 52 Slovene scholars, and finally, in 1898, by Ljubljana mayor Ivan Hribar. He also organised a board for this purpose. Hribar announced a competition in 1899. Seven sculptors submitted their proposals in time, among them Franc Berneker, Anton Bitežnik, Jakob Žnider, Alojzij Progar, and finally Ivan Zajec, who won it. He received the commission on 18 October 1900.
Zajec started his work in the studio of Hans Makart in Vienna. The model for Prešeren was Prešeren's portrait by Goldenstein, and he depicted the suit of Prešeren after a model from 1830–1840, borrowed in a Vienna museum. The model for the muse was Olimpia Pozatti, a dancer from Trieste. The monument of Prešeren was cast in Krupp foundry in Vienna (Kaiserlich Königliche Kunst-Erzgießerei) in September 1903, and the muse was cast in the beginning of 1904. The costs for the entire monument were around 71,000 kronen, largely raised by Slovene women and various societies.
The monument was ceremonially unveiled on 10 September 1905. Over 20,000 people were present. The ceremonial speech was read by Ivan Tavčar. A biography of Prešeren with some of his poems was published by Engelbert Gangl on the occasion.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Prešeren Monument (Ljubljana).|
- Žitko, Durjava (1992). "Spomeniki 19. stoletja na Slovenskem" [Monuments of the 19th Century in the Slovene Lands]. Kronika: časopis za slovensko krajevno zgodovino [The Chronicle: the Newspaper for the Slovenian History of Places]. Association of Slovenian Historical Societies, Section for the History of Places. 40 (1). ISSN 0023-4923.
- Beja, Boris (5 November 2011). "Prešernov spomenik" [Prešeren Monument]. Planet Siol.net. Archived from the original on 7 November 2011.
- Šavc, Urška. "France Prešeren – slikovno gradivo" [France Prešeren – Pictorial Material]. In Šmid Hribar, Mateja; Golež, Gregor; Podjed, Dan; Kladnik, Drago; Erhartič, Bojan; Pavlin, Primož; Ines, Jerele. Enciklopedija naravne in kulturne dediščine na Slovenskem [Encyclopedia of Natural and Cultural Heritage in Slovenia] (in Slovenian). Retrieved 20 May 2012.
- Rozman, Ksenja (1965). "Ljubljanski javni spomeniki" [Public Monuments in Ljubljana]. Kronika: časopis za slovensko krajevno zgodovino [The Chronicle: the Newspaper for the Slovenian History of Places] (in Slovenian). Association of Slovenian Historical Societies, Section for the History of Places. 13 (2). ISSN 0023-4923.
- Stopar, Ivan; Prelovšek, Damjan (1992). Walks in old Ljubljana: a guide to its culture and history. Marketing 013 ZTP. p. 97; 132.
- "Odprti kop: Prešernov spomenik v Ljubljani" [Open Dug: Prešeren Monument in Ljubljana]. MMC RTV Slovenija (in Slovenian). RTV Slovenija. 8 February 2009.
- Znidarčič, Asta (1925–1991 (printed ed.). 2009 (electronic ed.)). "Zajec Ivan". In Vide Ogrin, Petra (electronic ed.). Cankar, Izidor et al. (printed ed.). Slovenski biografski leksikon (in Slovenian). ISBN 978-961-268-001-5. Check date values in:
- "Listek: Iz zgodovine Prešernovega spomenika" [A Ticket: From the History of the Prešeren Monument]. Slovan: mesečnik za književnost, umetnost in prosveto [Slovan: A Monthly for Literature, Arts and Education] (in Slovenian). 3 (10). Zvezna tiskarna. 1905. pp. 318–319. ISSN 1408-0222.