The City Of Rome, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, And Water Fountains

There are many famous water fountains in Rome’s city center. One of the most distinguished sculptors and artists of the 17th century, Gian Lorenzo Bernini planned, conceived and built almost all of them. His abilities as a water fountain creator and also as a city designer, are obvious throughout the streets of Rome. Ultimately transferring to Rome to completely reveal their artwork, primarily in the form of public water features, Bernini’s father, a distinguished Florentine sculptor, mentored his young son. or-129-or-130__46721.jpg The young Bernini was an great employee and attained encouragement and patronage of important painters as well as popes. He was initially renowned for his sculpture. He made use of his expertise and melded it effortlessly with Roman marble, most notably in the Vatican. Though many artists impacted his artistic endeavors, Michelangelo influenced him the most.

Outdoor Water Features Found in Historical Documents

Water fountains were initially practical in purpose, used to bring water from rivers or springs to cities and hamlets, providing the residents with fresh water to drink, bathe, and prepare food with. To produce water flow through a fountain until the later part of the 1800’s, and generate a jet of water, mandated the force of gravity and a water source such as a spring or reservoir, situated higher than the fountain. Fountains spanning history have been designed as monuments, impressing hometown citizens and visitors alike. The common fountains of today bear little likeness to the very first water fountains. Created for drinking water and ceremonial purposes, the first fountains were basic carved stone basins.

The first stone basins are suspected to be from around 2000 BC. The jet of water appearing from small spouts was pushed by gravity, the only power source designers had in those days. Located near reservoirs or springs, the practical public water fountains furnished the local populace with fresh drinking water. Beasts, Gods, and religious figures dominated the initial ornate Roman fountains, beginning to appear in about 6 BC. The people of Rome had an elaborate system of aqueducts that delivered the water for the many fountains that were situated throughout the city.

The Wondrous Santa Maria in Cosmedin Fountain in Rome

Remarkable discoveries of both Christian and pagan roots have been made by archaeologists and restorers in the area around Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome. The nearby basilica is largely famous for the marble sculpture known as the Bocca della Verità, (Mouth of Truth) located in its portico. Built in 1719, the Santa Maria in Cosmedin fountain was not well known and situated far from sight making it hard to visit.

The part of town where it was situated was forlorn and bleak which generally kept people away. In order to refurbish the square outside the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Pope Clement XI commissioned an Italian architect by the name of Carlo Bizzaccheri to put up a fountain for the area. August 11, 1717 saw the start of the work to put down the foundation of the church. After blessing of the first stone, medallions with the images 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.

Keep Your Outdoor Garden Fountain Tidy

Water fountains will keep working a very long time with regular cleaning and maintenance. A typical issue with fountains is that they tend to accumulate dirt and debris, so it is vital that you keep it free from this. Additionally, anywhere light from the sun mixes with still water, algae can appear. Stir hydrogen peroxide, sea salt, or vinegar into the water to avoid this particular issue. Some people opt for pouring bleach into the water, but the downside is that it harms wildlife - so it should be avoided.

Experts recommend that the typical garden fountain undergoes a thorough scrubbing every 3-4 months. Before cleaning, all the water must be eliminated. Once it is empty, scrub inside the reservoir with a gentle cleanser. If there is intricate artwork, you might need to use a toothbrush for those hard-to-reach areas. Be sure to carefully rinse the interior of the fountain to make sure all the soap is gone.

It is highly suggested taking the pump apart to better clean the inside and remove any plankton or calcium. To make it less challenging, soak it in vinegar overnight before cleaning. Build-up can be a big headache, so use mineral or rain water over tap water, when possible, to eliminate this dilemma.

Finally, be sure to have a quick look at your fountain every day and add water if you see that the level is too low. Permitting the water level to get too low can result in damage to the pump - and you certainly don't want that!

Contemporary Garden Decor: Outdoor Fountains and their Beginnings

A fountain, an amazing piece of engineering, not only supplies drinking water as it pours into a basin, it can also propel water high into the air for a noteworthy effect.

From the onset, outdoor fountains were simply there to serve as functional elements. Cities, towns and villages made use of nearby aqueducts or springs to provide them with drinking water as well as water where they could bathe or wash. Up to the late nineteenth century, water fountains had to be near an aqueduct or reservoir and higher than the fountain so that gravity could make the water move downwards or shoot high into the air. Fountains were not only used as a water source for drinking water, but also to adorn homes and celebrate the artist who created it. Bronze or stone masks of wildlife and heroes were frequently seen on Roman fountains. Muslims and Moorish landscaping designers of the Middle Ages included fountains to re-create smaller models of the gardens of paradise.

Fountains played a considerable role in the Gardens of Versailles, all part of French King Louis XIV’s desire to exert his power over nature. Seventeen and 18 century Popes sought to laud their positions by adding decorative baroque-style fountains at the point where restored Roman aqueducts arrived into the city.

Since indoor plumbing became the norm of the day for fresh, drinking water, by the end of the 19th century urban fountains were no longer needed for this purpose and they became purely decorative. The introduction of special water effects and the recycling of water were two things made possible by replacing gravity with mechanical pumps.

These days, fountains adorn public areas and are used to pay tribute to individuals or events and fill recreational and entertainment needs.


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