The First Fountains

As originally developed, fountains were crafted to be functional, guiding water from creeks or aqueducts to the citizens of cities and villages, where the water could be utilized for cooking, washing, and drinking. To make water flow through a fountain until the end of the 1800’s, and create a jet of water, demanded gravity and a water source such as a spring or reservoir, situated higher than the fountain. Commonly used as monuments and commemorative structures, water fountains have impressed men and women from all over the globe throughout the centuries. When you encounter a fountain today, that is definitely not what the first water fountains looked like. A stone basin, carved from rock, was the first fountain, used for containing water for drinking and religious functions. su5080_2__96538.jpg Rock basins as fountains have been discovered from 2000 BC. Gravity was the power source that operated the initial water fountains. The placement of the fountains was driven by the water source, which is why you’ll commonly find them along reservoirs, waterways, or rivers. Wildlife, Gods, and Spiritual figures dominated the very early ornate Roman fountains, beginning to show up in about 6 BC. Water for the community fountains of Rome arrived to the city via a complex system of water aqueducts.

Contemporary Garden Decor: Garden Fountains and their Beginnings

A water fountain is an architectural piece that pours water into a basin or jets it high into the air in order to supply drinkable water, as well as for decorative purposes.

Originally, fountains only served a practical purpose. Inhabitants of cities, townships and small towns used them as a source of drinking water and a place to wash, which meant that fountains needed to be linked to nearby aqueduct or spring. Up to the late 19th century, water fountains had to be near an aqueduct or reservoir and higher than the fountain so that gravity could make the water flow downwards or shoot high into the air. Designers thought of fountains as wonderful additions to a living space, however, the fountains also served to supply clean water and celebrate the artist responsible for building it. Roman fountains often depicted images of animals or heroes made of metal or stone masks. During the Middle Ages, Muslim and Moorish garden planners included fountains to create mini depictions of the gardens of paradise. King Louis XIV of France wanted to illustrate his superiority over nature by including fountains in the Gardens of Versailles. Seventeen and 18 century Popes sought to extol their positions by adding decorative baroque-style fountains at the point where restored Roman aqueducts arrived into the city.

Urban fountains made at the end of the nineteenth functioned only as decorative and celebratory adornments since indoor plumbing provided the essential drinking water. Gravity was replaced by mechanical pumps in order to enable fountains to bring in clean water and allow for beautiful water displays.

Nowadays, fountains decorate public spaces and are used to recognize individuals or events and fill recreational and entertainment needs.

Ancient Fountain Artists

Frequently serving as architects, sculptors, artists, engineers and discerning scholars, all in one, fountain creators were multi-talented individuals from the 16th to the later part of the 18th century. Leonardo da Vinci as a creative master, inventor and scientific virtuoso exemplified this Renaissance creator. He carefully documented his observations in his now celebrated notebooks about his studies into the forces of nature and the qualities and mobility of water. Converting private villa settings into amazing water exhibits full of symbolic meaning and natural wonder, early Italian water fountain designers paired creativity with hydraulic and gardening ability. The magnificence in Tivoli were developed by the humanist Pirro Ligorio, who was renowned for his skill in archeology, architecture and garden design. Other fountain designers, masterminding the phenomenal water marbles, water attributes and water antics for the countless domains in the vicinity of Florence, were tried and tested in humanistic topics and traditional scientific readings.

The Various Types of Backyard Water Features

When you want to chill out for a bit and get some fresh air, a garden is the perfect place. While it is not a simple undertaking to build one, you will be happy you did once you are able to relax and enjoy it. A beautiful garden will increase any property value, as “curb appeal” is key to the market value. Experts advise adding flowers or trees, a pavement, a lovely water feature, or unique statues to enhance the overall look of your property.

The visual appeal of any garden can be greatly improved by just adding a water fountain. A place of tranquility and serenity will appear from what was at first just a simple spot.

The trickling water of your fountain will not only give you a calming retreat, it will also attract wild birds and other friendly local animals. Your fountain will quickly turn into the main feature of your garden or yard.

Chatsworth Gardens: The "Revelation" Water Display

The well-known British sculptor Angela Conner designed the Chatsworth ornamental exterior water feature called “Revelation.” The late 11th Duke of Devonshire commissioned her, due to her work in brass and steel, to design a limited edition bust of Queen Elizabeth in commemoration of the Queen’s 80th birthday. One of Chatsworth’s oldest ponds, Jack Pond, had “Revelation” placed in it in 1999. It takes the configuration of four large flower petals designed from metal which opens and close with the water circulation, alternately camouflaging and exposing a golden globe at the sculpture’s heart. A metallic globe decorated with gold dust was integrated into the sculpture, which rests five meters high and five meters wide. This newest fountain is an intriguing addition to the Gardens at Chatsworth because the petals’ movement is entirely powered by water.


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