A Magnificent Example of Roman Artistry: The Santa Maria in Cosmedin Water Fountain

Incredible finds of both Christian and pagan roots have been made by archaeologists and restorers in the area of Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome. The Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth} is a renowned marble sculpture situated at the entrance of the nearby basilica. The situation of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin fountain (1719) was not in a well-known area and was, therefore, not frequently visited. 50008bg__98304.jpg Since the nearby area was depressing and mostly uninhabited, visitors were not particularly interested in visiting it. It was a this time that Pope Clement XI commissioned the Italian architect Carlo Bizzaccheri to put up a fountain to modernize the square outside the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. August 11, 1717 marked the date when work on the church’s foundation started. Medals bearing the images of the Blessed Virgin, for whom the church is named, and of St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of water, were thrown in the foundation following the consecration of the first stone.

The Truth About Water Features in Japanese Landscapes

Japanese gardens typically have a water element. You will often notice Japanese water fountains in the doorway of a temple or home due to the fact that they are considered symbolic of physical and spiritual cleansing. Since water is the most important element of any Japanese fountain, the design is generally simple.

Many people also choose a water fountain that has a bamboo spout. The basin, which tends to be built of stones, collects the water as it flows down from the bamboo spout. Even when new, it should be crafted to appear as if it has been out in the open for a long time. It is important that the overall look of the fountain fits in with the natural surroundings, so people typically place plants, rocks, and flowers around it. As you can likely guess, this fountain is symbolic rather than just decorative.

If you want to get a bit more artistic, try a stone fountain decorated with live bamboo and other natural elements placed on a bed of gravel. In time, as moss gradually covers the rocks, it becomes even more natural-looking.

Anyone who has an extensive area to work with can, of course, install a much larger water feature. Popular water feature extras are a koi pond or any sort of little pool, or even a wandering brook.

However, water does not have to be an element in a Japanese water fountain. Pretty rocks, sand, or gravel are good alternatives to actual water, as they can be used to represent the water. The impression of a creek with trickling water can also be achieved by placing flat stones very closely together.

The Genius of Michelangelo’s Roman Water Fountains

Two Florentine artists by the names of Michelangelo and Ammannati designed the earliest Roman wall fountains during the 16th century. Michelangelo’s first fountain was unveiled in 1536 in the Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome and makes up part of the exterior of the Palazzo Senatorio. The construction of a conduit from the Aqua Felice to the Capitol, which allowed for a more beautiful water display, was included years later. Expecting this, Michelangelo had added a more sizable basin styled on the late Cinquecento.

The question remains as to whether the famous sculptor was the earliest to create wall fountains. The sculptor’s designs definitely impacted the future style of fountains in Italy. More examples of this sort of structure can be seen in the Fountain of the River Gods at the Villa Lante, Bagnaia 1, and the Fountain of the Mugnone which is found between flights of stairs on the central axis of the Villa Pratolino.

It seemed to be Michelangelo’s predestination to combine classic Roman attributes into his fountains instead of using his own remarkable talents to design original pieces. An original wall fountain for the top of the passageway of the Belvedere in the Vatican was commissioned to the reknowned artist by Julius III (1550-1555). The fountain was to be adorned with a marble depiction of Moses hitting a stone from which water flowed. The idea of the Moses figure was dismissed, however, because of the time it would take to build it and was therefore replaced by an antique image of Cleopatra. A design by the well-known artist was thought to be too time-consuming, therefore, an ancient figure placed above the fountain seemed to be a better option.


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