The Brilliance of Michelangelo’s Roman Wall Fountains

During the 16th century two celebrated Florentine sculptors by the names of Michelangelo and Ammannati designed the first wall features in Rome. Michelangelo’s first fountain was unveiled in 1536 in the Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome and makes up part of the front of the Palazzo Senatorio. c_109__08491.jpg Constructed some years later, a conduit from the Aqua Felice was added which carried water into the Capitol allowing a greater water display. Michelangelo, however, had anticipated this which led to choice of a larger basin styled on the forms of the late Cinquecento.

The question remains as to whether the famous sculptor was the first to build wall fountains. Italy’s fountains truly show the influence his designs had on the styles found there. The styles seen at the Fountain of the River Gods at the Villa Lante, Bagnaia 1, and the Fountain of the Mugnone, set between the flight of steps on the main axis of the Villa Pratolino, represent other examples of this style.

Michelangelo’s great talent was put aside because he was compelled to design fountains combining classical elements and a Roman style. The Florentine master was asked by Julius III (1550-1555) to design a unique fountain to be placed at the top of the passageway of the Belvedere in the Vatican. The talented artist was asked to design a marble figure of Moses striking a stone from which water flowed. The idea of the Moses figure was dismissed, however, because of the time it would take to create it and was therefore replaced by an antique image of Cleopatra. An ancient figure was thought to be easier to put up over the fountain than the construction of a completely new statue by the famed artist.

Ancient Crete & The Minoans: Water Features

Various kinds of conduits have been uncovered through archaeological excavations on the island of Crete, the cradle of Minoan civilization. They not only helped with the water supply, they extracted rainwater and wastewater as well. The main ingredients used were stone or clay. Whenever terracotta was utilized, it was usually for waterways as well as conduits which came in rectangle-shaped or circular shapes. Amidst these were clay piping that were U shaped or a shortened, cone-like shape which have only appeared in Minoan society. Terracotta piping were utilized to administer water at Knossos Palace, running up to three meters below the floors. The piping also had other applications such as amassing water and channeling it to a centralized location for storing. These terracotta pipelines were required to perform: Underground Water Transportation: At first this technique appears to have been fashioned not quite for comfort but to offer water for specific people or rituals without it being spotted. Quality Water Transportation: There is also evidence which indicates the piping being made use of to feed water fountains separately of the domestic technique.

Enrich Your Backyard with the Help of Feng Shui

Introduce feng shui design to the layout of your yard so it can carry energy into your home.

As far as the size of your garden goes, it is not extremely important when incorporating feng shui design to it. A sizeable space is great for those lucky enough to have it, but a smaller area can still be useful in feng shui design.

Whether you are adding feng shui design to your home or garden, the approaches are the same. In order to learn the energy map, or bagua, of your garden, you will first want to know your home’s bagua.

Before getting started, make sure you understand the five elements of feng shui so that you can maximize their energy.

The Earth element, for example, should be located in the northeast part of your garden which connects to the personal growth and self-cultivation energy in feng shui design. Since rocks epitomize the Earth element in feng shui, you might think about putting some into a tranquil Zen garden in the northeast corner of your yard.

Southeast (money and abundance), East (health & family), and North (career & path in life) are feng shui areas perfect for a water element.


The Early Culture: Garden Fountains
During archaeological excavations on the island of Crete, various types of conduits have been discovered. In conjunction with offering water,... read more
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Anyone thinking about including a water element into their garden should place it in one of these feng shui areas: North (career & path in life),... read more