Public Fountains Recorded by History

As initially conceived, water fountains were crafted to be practical, guiding water from streams or reservoirs to the inhabitants of cities and villages, where the water could be utilized for cooking, cleaning, and drinking. In the years before electrical power, the spray of fountains was driven by gravity only, often using an aqueduct or water source located far away in the surrounding mountains. 8413_6704_art_1__35764.jpg Commonly used as memorials and commemorative edifices, water fountains have influenced people from all over the world throughout the centuries. The contemporary fountains of today bear little likeness to the very first water fountains. A natural stone basin, crafted from rock, was the first fountain, utilized for containing water for drinking and ceremonial functions. Pure stone basins as fountains have been found from 2000 B.C.. The earliest civilizations that used fountains depended on gravity to drive water through spigots. Positioned near aqueducts or springs, the practical public water fountains supplied the local residents with fresh drinking water. Fountains with elaborate decoration started to show up in Rome in about 6 BC, normally gods and creatures, made with natural stone or bronze. Water for the open fountains of Rome arrived to the city via a complicated system of water aqueducts.

Typical Fountains Seen in Japanese Gardens

No Japanese garden is finished without a water element. The Japanese water fountain is considered symbolic of spiritual and physical cleaning, so it is customarily placed in or near the doorways of temples or homes. Since water is the most essential component of any Japanese fountain, the design is generally simple.

Many people also opt for a water fountain that features a bamboo spout. The basin, which tends to be fashioned of stones, collects the water as it flows down from the bamboo spout. Even when new, it should be crafted to look as if it has been out in the open for a long time. It is essential that the overall look of the fountain goes with the natural environment, so people typically place plants, rocks, and flowers around it. Clearly this fountain is much more than merely a pretty add-on.

An alternate possibility is to find a stone fountain, set it on a bed of rock, and place live bamboo and pretty stones around it. After some years it begins to really blend into the surrounding nature as moss covers the stone.

Bigger water features can be designed if there is enough open land. Charming add-ons include a babbling creek or tiny pool with koi in it.

There are alternative 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 actual water. In addition, flat stones can be laid out close enough together to give the impression of a babbling brook.

The Roman Wall Fountains of Michelangelo

During the 16th century two renown Florentine sculptors by the names of Michelangelo and Ammannati designed the first wall features in Rome. 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. Built some years later, a conduit from the Aqua Felice was added which carried water into the Capitol permitting a greater water display. Michelangelo had anticipated this, however, and built a bigger basin styled on the art of the late Cinquecento.

Did the creation of wall fountains begin with the famous sculptor? Italy’s fountains truly show the effect 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 central axis of the Villa Pratolino, are other examples of this style.

Sadly, Michelangelo was destined to put his own talents aside and combine traditional 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 famed sculptor by Julius III (1550-1555). The talented artist was commissioned to design a marble figure of Moses striking a stone from which water flowed. Unfortunately for the sculptor, this idea was turned down because it would take a lot of time to build and a classic statue of Cleopatra was used instead. 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 choice.


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