Typical Water Features Seen in Japanese Gardens

You will rarely see a Japanese garden that does not feature a water feature. Since Japanese water fountains are considered emblematic of physical and spiritual cleansing, they are often positioned at the entrance of buildings or shrines. Since water is supposed to be the central point of a fountain, you will find that the designs are kept very straightforward.

Bamboo is a common material to use for spouts and therefore often added into water fountains. Under the bamboo spout is usually a stone basin which receives the water as it flows down from the spout. a_530__21204.jpg People usually make them look weathered and worn, even when they are new. Natural elements such as plants and rocks are frequently put in place around a fountain so that it seems more connected with nature. Clearly this fountain is much more than merely a nice add-on.

An alternate possibility is to get a stone fountain, set it on a bed of rock, and place live bamboo and pretty stones around it. Gradually moss begins to creep over the stones and cover them, and as that happens the area begins to look more and more like a natural part of the landscape.

If you are lucky enough to have a big piece of open land you can create a water feature that is much more elaborate. Consider adding a beautiful final touch like a pond filled with koi or a tiny stream.

There are other alternatives if you do not want to put water in your Japanese fountain. Many people choose to represent water with sand, gravel, or rocks rather than putting in real water. You can also assemble flat stones and place them close enough together that they look like water in motion.

A Real Roman Masterpiece: The Santa Maria Fountain in Cosmedin

Incredible discoveries of both Christian and pagan origin have been made by archaeologists and restorers in the area of Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome. The celebrated marble sculpture known as the Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth) can be seen in the portico of the basilica nearby.

The location of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin fountain (1719) was not in a well-known area and was, therefore, not frequently visited. It was said that there was very little to see in this area because it was abject and desolate making it an unfriendly place to visit. As part of an effort to modernize the piazza outside the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, the Italian architect Carlo Bizzaccheri was instructed by Pope Clement XI to design a fountain. August 11, 1717 marked the date when construction on the church’s infrastructure began. After blessing of the first stone, medals with the illustration of the Blessed Virgin, for whom the church is named, and of St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of water, were tossed into the foundation.

Roman Wall Fountains: Michelangelo’s Works of Art

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 revealed in 1536 in the Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome and makes up part of the facade of the Palazzo Senatorio. Some years later, a more extravagant water display was made feasible with the extension of the Aqua Felice into the Capitol. Styled on the late Cinquecento, Michelangelo created a larger basin, anticipating the development of the conduit.

Did the creation of wall fountains begin with the famous sculptor? His designs undoubtedly influenced the style of fountain which predominates throughout 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.

Regrettably, Michelangelo was destined to put his own brilliance aside and combine classical elements into fountains based on Roman styles. An original wall fountain for the top of the corridor of the Belvedere in the Vatican was commissioned to the reknowned sculptor by Julius III (1550-1555). The talented artist was asked to design a marble figure of Moses striking a stone from which water streamed forth. Unfortunately for the sculptor, this plan was turned down because it would take a lot of time to build and a classic statue of Cleopatra was used instead. Producing a new design by the renown sculptor was thought to be more complicated than placing an ancient figure above the fountain.


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