Babuino fountain replica in sterling silver and travertine (Rome, via del Babuino, around 1576): one of the 6 "talking statues" of Rome
- • Handmade 100%
• Made in Rome, Italy
• Material : Sterling Silver
• Sculpture Lost Wax Casting
• Height : 8 cm (3.14 Inches)
• Length : 6.5 cm (2.55 Inches)
The statue is an ancient depiction of a reclining Silenus: a character in Roman mythology, half man, half goat. In 1581, Patrizio Grandi, a rich merchant, built a public fountain in the former via Paolina, which he had decorated with this statue. According to the custom established by Pope Pius IV he obtained free water for his house and fields in exchange for donating the fountain to the city. The people of Rome christened the figure "babuino" because they considered it ugly and deformed, like a baboon, and the street was nicknamed the "via del Babuino" as a result, the name eventually becoming the official one. After being moved to various other locations in Rome, the statue was returned to the street in 1957.
Pasquinades — irreverent satirical inscriptions poking fun at public figures — were posted beside the "talking statues" of Rome in the 16th century. The pasquinades (or, in Italian, "pasquinate") of Il Babuino are more properly called "babuinate", but the principle of satirical criticism is the same.