“The phoenix hope,
can wing her way through the desert skies,
and still defying fortune’s spite;
revive from the ashes and rise.”
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
The Triton Fountain, which was the fruit of the combined genius of Apap and Anastasi, was an avant-garde work of art in Malta for its time. Victor Anastasi’s technical expertise ensured a two-way dynamic flow of water which draws the observer’s eye to view the various levels of the fountain in turn. The designs of the body of the fountain and the sculptural group were an important artistic innovation on these islands in the post-war period. An important departure from sculpture in Malta was the introduction of a wide step, which invited spectators to approach and sit on it in close proximity to the gushing water.
The tritoni sculptural group reflects the influence of a number of twentieth-century artists of international renown, placing the fountain within the wider international realm of twentieth century art. However, the tritoni are also the product of a Maltese artist influenced by the local milieu, and anecdotes about the local inspiration, genesis and execution of the work keep emerging to this day.