A Bronze statue of an ancient hunter in the Balearic Islands
If you're relaxing in the shade by the tinkling water fountains at the s'Hort del Rei in the heart of Palma then you're close
to a beautiful, prize winning statue depicting a toned young man wielding a sling.
You can see Llorenç Rosselló's Hondero Balear (The Balearic Slinger) just in front of the pond where the swans glide gracefully at the sea end of the gardens. In ancient times men from the
Balearics were famed for their skill with the sling (think David and Goliath) for hunting and in warfare and were mentioned in glowing terms by Roman Historian Livy and Greek Geographer Strabo.
The statue's twisting body, muscle tension and movement have been described as Rodinesque by experts, as the French sculptor's influence is clear on Rossello's work, and with good reason. Born in
Mallorca and considered the best island sculptor of the 19th century, he lived, worked and studied in South America, Florence, Rome and Paris - here at the same time as Rodin – before he died in
Mallorca in 1901.
The Slinger was one of Rossello's final pieces, made in 1898 before he contracted the tuberculosis which was to prove fatal, and won the silver medal at the Barcelona Exhibition of Bellas Artes the
same year. In 1994, the statue was restored to its original condition by the Council and put on display to make a beautiful addition to the gardens and their other works of art.