Gian Lorenzo Bernini's Water Features

or-122__06952.jpg There are lots of famed Roman water features in its city center. One of the finest sculptors and artists of the 17th century, virtually all of them were planned, conceived and constructed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Also a city designer, he had abilities as a water feature designer, and marks of his life's work are apparent throughout the streets of Rome. Bernini's father, a celebrated Florentine sculptor, mentored his young son, and they ultimately moved in Rome, to thoroughly show their art in the form of community water fountains and water features. An excellent worker, the young Bernini received praise and the backing of many popes and important artists. At the start he was recognized for his sculptural skills. An expert in ancient Greek architecture, he used this knowledge as a starting point and melded it seamlessly with Roman marble, most famously in the Vatican. Though many artists impacted his artistic endeavors, Michelangelo influenced him the most.

Agrippa's Astonishing, but Mostly Forgotten Water-Lifting System

In 1588, Agrippa’s water-lifting invention attracted the interest and compliments of Andrea Bacci but that turned out to be one of the last references of the technology. It could be that the Acqua Felice, the second of Rome’s earliest modern aqueducts made the system outdated when it was attached to the Villa Medici in 1592. Although its triumph was short lived, Camillo Agrippa’s planning for lifting water was the marvel of its day, exceeding everything crafted in Italy since the days of early Rome. It might violate gravitation to raise water to Renaissance landscapes, feeding them in a way other late sixteenth century models like scenographic water displays, melodious fountains and giochi d’acqua or water caprices, were not.

"Old School" Water Fountain Creative Designers

Often serving as architects, sculptors, artists, engineers and cultivated scholars all in one, from the 16th to the later part of the 18th century, fountain designers were multi-talented people, During the Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci exemplified the artist as an imaginative master, creator and scientific virtuoso. The forces of nature led him to research the qualities and movement of water, and due to his curiosity, he carefully captured his findings in his now renowned notebooks. Combining imagination with hydraulic and landscaping abilities, early Italian water fountain designers changed private villa settings into amazing water exhibits loaded with emblematic meaning and natural charm. The humanist Pirro Ligorio, celebrated for his virtuosity in archeology, architecture and garden design, offered the vision behind the wonders in Tivoli. Well versed in humanistic themes and classical technical readings, some other water feature creators were masterminding the fascinating water marbles, water features and water pranks for the countless properties around Florence.

Keeping Your Garden Fountain Clean

Appropriate care and regular cleaning are important to the longevity of water fountains.

It is essential to clean it out and take out any debris or foreign elements that might have fallen into or onto it. Another factor is that water that is subjected to sunlight is vulnerable to growing algae. To avoid this, take vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or sea salt and add straight into the water. Some people opt for pouring bleach into the water, but the problem is that it harms wildlife - so it should be avoided.

Every 3-4 months, garden fountains should have a good cleaning. The initial task is to empty out all of the water. When it is empty, scrub inside the reservoir with a mild cleanser. If there are any tiny grooves, work with a toothbrush to get each and every spot. Any soap residue left on your fountain can harm it, so be sure it is all rinsed off.

Numerous organisms and calcium deposits can get inside the pump, so it is recommended to take it apart and clean it thoroughly. Soaking it in vinegar for a time will make it easier to clean. Build-up can be a big hassle, so use mineral or rain water over tap water, when possible, to prevent this dilemma.

And finally, make sure the water level is always full in order to keep your fountain operating smoothly. Low water levels can ruin the pump - and you don't want that!

Acqua Vergine: The Answer to Rome's Water Challenges

With the construction of the first raised aqueduct in Rome, the Aqua Anio Vetus in 273 BC, people who lived on the city’s hills no longer had to be dependent entirely on naturally-occurring spring water for their demands. Outside of these aqueducts and springs, wells and rainwater-collecting cisterns were the lone technologies available at the time to supply water to locations of higher elevation. From the beginning of the sixteenth century, water was routed to Pincian Hill via the subterranean channel of Acqua Vergine. As originally constructed, the aqueduct was provided along the length of its channel with pozzi (manholes) constructed at regular intervals. During the roughly nine years he had the property, from 1543 to 1552, Cardinal Marcello Crescenzi employed these manholes to take water from the network in buckets, though they were previously designed for the purpose of cleaning and maintaining the aqueduct. He didn’t get an adequate amount water from the cistern that he had manufactured on his residential property to gather rainwater. By using an orifice to the aqueduct that flowed below his property, he was in a position to fulfill his water needs.


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