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The gardens also featured giochi d'acqua , water jokes, hidden fountains which suddenly soaked visitors. The fountain, which originally stood against the wall of the church of the Holy Innocents, as rebuilt several times and now stands in a square near Les Halles. It is the oldest fountain in Paris. Later, after the death of Henry II, his widow, Catherine de Medici , expelled Diane de Poitiers from Chenonceau and built her own fountain and garden there. King Henry IV of France made an important contribution to French fountains by inviting an Italian hydraulic engineer, Tommaso Francini , who had worked on the fountains of the villa at Pratalino, to make fountains in France.

That fountain still exists today, with a long basin of water and statues added in The 17th and 18th centuries were a golden age for fountains in Rome, which began with the reconstruction of ruined Roman aqueducts and the construction by the Popes of mostra , or display fountains, to mark their termini. The new fountains were expressions of the new Baroque art, which was officially promoted by the Catholic Church as a way to win popular support against the Protestant Reformation ; the Council of Trent had declared in the 16th century that the Church should counter austere Protestantism with art that was lavish, animated and emotional.

The fountains of Rome, like the paintings of Rubens , were examples of the principles of Baroque art. They were crowded with allegorical figures, and filled with emotion and movement. In these fountains, sculpture became the principal element, and the water was used simply to animate and decorate the sculptures. They, like baroque gardens, were "a visual representation of confidence and power. The first of the Fountains of St.

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Peter's Basilica behind it. Its form, with a large circular vasque on a pedestal pouring water into a basin and an inverted vasque above it spouting water, was imitated two centuries later in the Fountains of the Place de la Concorde in Paris. The Triton Fountain in the Piazza Barberini , by Gian Lorenzo Bernini , is a masterpiece of Baroque sculpture, representing Triton , half-man and half-fish, blowing his horn to calm the waters, following a text by the Roman poet Ovid in the Metamorphoses.

The Piazza Navona became a grand theater of water, with three fountains, built in a line on the site of the Stadium of Domitian. The fountains at either end are by Giacomo della Porta ; the Neptune fountain to the north, shows the God of the Sea spearing an octopus, surrounded by tritons , sea horses and mermaids.

At the southern end is Il Moro, possibly also a figure of Neptune riding a fish in a conch shell.

Add a Water Feature to Your Garden: 23 of Our Favorite Outdoor Fountains

The theme of a fountain with statues symbolizing great rivers was later used in the Place de la Concorde —40 and in the Fountain of Neptune in the Alexanderplatz in Berlin The fountains of Piazza Navona had one drawback - their water came from the Acqua Vergine, which had only a foot 7. The Trevi Fountain is the largest and most spectacular of Rome's fountains, designed to glorify the three different Popes who created it.

It was built beginning in at the terminus of the reconstructed Acqua Vergine aqueduct, on the site of Renaissance fountain by Leon Battista Alberti. The central figure is Oceanus , the personification of all the seas and oceans, in an oyster-shell chariot, surrounded by Tritons and Sea Nymphs. In fact, the fountain had very little water pressure, because the source of water was, like the source for the Piazza Navona fountains, the Acqua Vergine, with a foot 7. Salvi compensated for this problem by sinking the fountain down into the ground, and by carefully designing the cascade so that the water churned and tumbled, to add movement and drama.

Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi by Bernini , — Fontana della Barcaccia , Fountains of St. Peter's Square by Carlo Maderno and Bernini Triton Fountain by Bernini , Fontana delle Api Fountains of the Bees In this garden, the fountain played a central role. He used fountains to demonstrate the power of man over nature, and to illustrate the grandeur of his rule. In the Gardens of Versailles , instead of falling naturally into a basin, water was shot into the sky, or formed into the shape of a fan or bouquet.

Dancing water was combined with music and fireworks to form a grand spectacle. These fountains were the work of the descendants of Tommaso Francini , the Italian hydraulic engineer who had come to France during the time of Henry IV and built the Medici Fountain and the Fountain of Diana at Fontainebleau.

Two fountains were the centerpieces of the Gardens of Versailles, both taken from the myths about Apollo, the sun god, the emblem of Louis XIV, and both symbolizing his power. This was a reminder of how French peasants had abused Louis's mother, Anne of Austria , during the uprising called the Fronde in the s.

When the fountain is turned on, sprays of water pour down on the peasants, who are frenzied as they are transformed into creatures. The other centerpiece of the Gardens, at the intersection of the main axes of the Gardens of Versailles, is the Bassin d'Apollon —71 , designed by Charles Le Brun and sculpted by Jean Baptiste Tuby. This statue shows a theme also depicted in the painted decoration in the Hall of Mirrors of the Palace of Versailles: Apollo in his chariot about to rise from the water, announced by Tritons with seashell trumpets.


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Historians Mary Anne Conelli and Marilyn Symmes wrote, "Designed for dramatic effect and to flatter the king, the fountain is oriented so that the Sun God rises from the west and travels east toward the chateau, in contradiction to nature. Besides these two monumental fountains, the Gardens over the years contained dozens of other fountains, including thirty-nine animal fountains in the labyrinth depicting the fables of Jean de La Fontaine.

There were so many fountains at Versailles that it was impossible to have them all running at once; when Louis XIV made his promenades, his fountain-tenders turned on the fountains ahead of him and turned off those behind him. Louis built an enormous pumping station, the Machine de Marly , with fourteen water wheels and pumps to raise the water three hundred feet from the River Seine , and even attempted to divert the River Eure to provide water for his fountains, but the water supply was never enough. In Russia, Peter the Great founded a new capital at St. Petersburg in and built a small Summer Palace and gardens there beside the Neva River.

The gardens featured a fountain of two sea monsters spouting water, among the earliest fountains in Russia. The gardens included trick fountains designed to drench unsuspecting visitors, a popular feature of the Italian Renaissance garden. In — the Emperor Paul I of Russia and his successor, Alexander I of Russia , built a new fountain at the foot of the cascade depicting Samson prying open the mouth of a lion, representing Peter's victory over Sweden in the Great Northern War in The fountains were fed by reservoirs in the upper garden, while the Samson fountain was fed by a specially-constructed aqueduct four kilometers in length.

Samson and the Lion fountain at Peterhof Palace , Russia — Fontaine du Palmier , Paris Fountain in the Place de la Concorde in Paris Fountain in Trafalgar Square , In the early 19th century, London and Paris built aqueducts and new fountains to supply clean drinking water to their exploding populations. He also restored and put back into service some of the city's oldest fountains, such as the Medici Fountain. Two of Napoleon's fountains, the Chateau d'Eau and the fountain in the Place des Vosges, were the first purely decorative fountains in Paris, without water taps for drinking water.

Louis-Philippe — continued Napoleon's work, and added some of Paris's most famous fountains, notably the Fontaines de la Concorde — and the fountains in the Place des Vosges. Following a deadly cholera epidemic in , Louis Napoleon decided to completely rebuild the Paris water supply system, separating the water supply for fountains from the water supply for drinking.

The most famous fountain built by Louis Napoleon was the Fontaine Saint-Michel , part of his grand reconstruction of Paris boulevards. Louis Napoleon relocated and rebuilt several earlier fountains, such as the Medici Fountain and the Fontaine de Leda , when their original sites were destroyed by his construction projects.

In the mid-nineteenth century the first fountains were built in the United States, connected to the first aqueducts bringing drinking water from outside the city. The first fountain in Philadelphia, at Centre Square , opened in , and featured a statue by sculptor William Rush. The 19th century also saw the introduction of new materials in fountain construction; cast iron the Fontaines de la Concorde ; glass the Crystal Fountain in London and even aluminium the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain in Piccadilly Circus , London, The invention of steam pumps meant that water could be supplied directly to homes, and pumped upward from fountains.

The new fountains in Trafalgar Square used steam pumps from an artesian well. By the end of the 19th century fountains in big cities were no longer used to supply drinking water, and were simply a form of art and urban decoration. Another fountain innovation of the 19th century was the illuminated fountain: The Bartholdi Fountain at the Philadelphia Exposition of was illuminated by gas lamps. In a fountain in Britain featured electric lights shining upward through the water.

The Exposition Universelle which celebrated the th anniversary of the French Revolution featured a fountain illuminated by electric lights shining up though the columns of water. The fountains, located in a basin forty meters in diameter, were given color by plates of colored glass inserted over the lamps. The Fountain of Progress gave its show three times each evening, for twenty minutes, with a series of different colors. The "Pont d'eau' from the Paris Colonial Exhibit, created a "bridge" of water forty meters long and six meters wide. Buckingham Fountain in Chicago The water cannon still function.

Stravinsky Fountain , next to the Pompidou Center, Paris Paris fountains in the 20th century no longer had to supply drinking water - they were purely decorative; and, since their water usually came from the river and not from the city aqueducts, their water was no longer drinkable. Twenty-eight new fountains were built in Paris between and ; nine new fountains between and ; four between and ; and fifteen between and The biggest fountains of the period were those built for the International Expositions of , and , and for the Colonial Exposition of Of those, only the fountains from the exposition at the Palais de Chaillot still exist.

See Fountains of International Expositions. Only a handful of fountains were built in Paris between and The Mitterrand-Chirac fountains had no single style or theme. Many of the fountains were designed by famous sculptors or architects, such as Jean Tinguely , I.

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Pei , Claes Oldenburg and Daniel Buren , who had radically different ideas of what a fountain should be. Some were solemn, and others were whimsical. Most made little effort to blend with their surroundings - they were designed to attract attention. Few new fountains have been built in Paris since The most notable is La Danse de la fontaine emergente , located on Place Augusta-Holmes, rue Paul Klee, in the 13th arrondissement. It was designed by the French-Chinese sculptor Chen Zhen — , shortly before his death in , and finished through the efforts of his spouse and collaborator.

It shows a dragon, in stainless steel, glass and plastic, emerging and submerging from the pavement of the square. Water under pressure flows through the transparent skin of the dragon. Fountains built in the United States between and mostly followed European models and classical styles. The Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park in Chicago was one of the first American fountains to use powerful modern pumps to shoot water as high as feet 46 meters into the air.

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Some, like the Vaillancourt Fountain in San Francisco , were pure works of sculpture. Other fountains, like the Frankin Roosevelt Memorial Waterfall , by architect Lawrence Halprin , were designed as landscapes to illustrate themes. Each "room" contains a cascade or waterfall; the cascade in the third room illustrates the turbulence of the years of the World War II.

Halprin wrote at an early stage of the design; "the whole environment of the memorial becomes sculpture: to touch, feel, hear and contact - with all the senses. The end of the 20th century the development of high-shooting fountains, beginning with the Jet d'eau in Geneva in , and followed by taller and taller fountains in the United States and the Middle East. It also saw the increasing popularity of the musical fountain, which combined water, music and light, choreographed by computers.

See Musical fountain below. The fountain called Bit. Fall by German artist Julius Popp uses digital technologies to spell out words with water. The fountain is run by a statistical program which selects words at random from news stories on the Internet. It then recodes these words into pictures. Then nozzles inject the water into electromagnetic valves.

The program uses rasterization and bitmap technologies to synchronize the valves so drops of water form an image of the words as they fall.


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According to Popp, the sheet of water is "a metaphor for the constant flow of information from which we cannot escape. Crown Fountain is an interactive fountain and video sculpture feature in Chicago's Millennium Park. Designed by Catalan artist Jaume Plensa , it opened in July La Danse de la fontaine emergente , Place Augusta-Holmes, Paris 13th arrondissement , is the newest fountain in Paris. The fountain is designed to resemble a dragon winding its way around the square, emerging and submerging from the pavement.

The skin of the dragon is transparent, showing the water flowing within. The water flowing within the dragon is under pressure and is illuminated at night. It is constructed of stainless steel, glass, and plastic. It was designed by the French-Chinese sculptor Chen Zhen — The fountain is in three parts.

A bas-relief of the dragon is fixed on the wall of the structure of the water-supply plant, and the dragon seems to be emerging from the wall and plunging underground. This part of the dragon is opaque.