The sculptor who created both works, Carl Milles (1875-1955), is one of the most celebrated and beloved artists of Sweden. His work is found in city squares and parks throughout the country, as well as in the U.S. Jonah and the Whale features a Buddha-like Jonah as he’s spewed high into the air after three days in the belly of the whale that swallowed him. The look on his face gives the fountain its extraordinary charm. Sun Glitter features a mermaid riding a dolphin through a spray of water while smaller fish swim about her. The mermaid and dolphin on their joyous journey seem to bound and play through the spray.
Acquired by Henry T. Segerstrom in 1985, Sun Glitter and Jonah and the Whale are illustrative examples of Milles’s knowledge of ancient, medieval, and Renaissance art, as well as the contemporary developments of his time. From these disparate influences Milles established an eclectic but vigorous style. He is best known for his numerous large-scale fountains, distinguished by rhythmic vitality and inventive figures, fusing classical and Nordic characteristics, such as tritons with goblins.