The First Documented Garden Water Fountains of History

Villages and communities depended on functional water fountains to funnel water for preparing food, bathing, and cleaning from nearby sources like lakes, streams, or creeks. twf024-ac__37720.jpg Gravity was the power source of water fountains up until the end of the nineteenth century, using the forceful power of water traveling down hill from a spring or creek to push the water through spigots or other outlets. Striking and spectacular, large water fountains have been constructed as monuments in nearly all civilizations. When you enjoy a fountain at present, that is not what the very first water fountains looked like. Designed for drinking water and ceremonial reasons, the first fountains were very simple carved stone basins. The earliest stone basins are suspected to be from about 2000 BC. The very first civilizations that utilized fountains relied on gravity to drive water through spigots. These original water fountains were designed to be functional, usually situated along aqueducts, streams and waterways to provide drinking water. Creatures, Gods, and religious figures dominated the early ornate Roman fountains, starting to appear in about 6 BC. A well-designed system of reservoirs and aqueducts kept Rome's public water fountains supplied with fresh water.

The Original Outdoor Water Feature Designers

Often working as architects, sculptors, artists, engineers and highly educated scholars all in one, from the 16th to the late 18th century, fountain designers were multi-faceted individuals, Leonardo da Vinci as a creative intellect, inventor and scientific virtuoso exemplified this Renaissance artist. He methodically noted his observations in his now celebrated notebooks, following his mind boggling interest in the forces of nature led him to research the characteristics and motion of water. Early Italian fountain designers altered private villa configurations into inspiring water displays full with symbolic meaning and natural charm by combining creativity with hydraulic and gardening expertise. The humanist Pirro Ligorio, celebrated for his virtuosity in archeology, architecture and garden design, delivered the vision behind the splendors in Tivoli. Other water fountain engineers, masterminding the incredible water marbles, water attributes and water antics for the various mansions in the vicinity of Florence, were well-versed in humanist topics and time-honored scientific readings.

Rome, Gian Bernini, And Statuary Fountains

There are countless renowned fountains in Rome’s city center. One of the greatest sculptors and artists of the 17th century, almost all of them were designed, conceived and constructed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. His skills as a water feature designer and also as a city designer, are obvious all through the roads of Rome. Bernini's father, a renowned Florentine sculptor, mentored his young son, and they eventually settled in Rome, to fully express their artwork in the form of public water features and water fountains. An outstanding employee, Bernin received encouragement and the patronage of popes and well known painters. He was originally celebrated for his sculpture. He made use of his expertise and melded it seamlessly with Roman marble, most notably in the Vatican. Though many artists had an influence on his work, Michelangelo had the most profound effect.

Agrippa’s Intriguing Water-lifting Appliance

Sadly, Agrippa’s excellent design for lifting water wasn’t referred to much after 1588, when Andrea Bacci acclaimed it openly. Only years later, in 1592, the early contemporary Roman aqueduct, the Acqua Felice, was linked to the Medici’s villa, perhaps making the unit outmoded. In truth it was probably merely forgotten when Ferdinando went back to Florence in 1588 after the death of his sibling, Francesco di Medici, leading Ferdinando to give up his cardinalship to protect his place as the next Grand Duke of Tuscany. There might have been other impressive water-related works in Renaissance gardens in the late sixteenth century, including water fountains which played tunes, water caprices (or giochi d’acqua) and also scenographic water demonstrations, but nothing was powered by water which defied gravitation.

The Many Reasons to Include a Fountain

The addition of a wall water feature or an outdoor garden fountain is a great way to embellish your yard or garden design. Modern-day artists and fountain builders alike use historic fountains and water features to shape their creations. You can also reinforce the link to the past by including one of these to your home's interior design. The benefit of having a garden fountain extends beyond its beauty as it also attracts birds and other wildlife, in addition to harmonizing the ecosystem with the water and moisture it releases into the atmosphere. Flying, irritating insects, for instance, are scared away by the birds congregating near the fountain or birdbath.

Spouting or cascading fountains are not the best alternative for a small backyard since they require a great deal of space. Either a freestanding fountain with an even back and an attached basin placed against a fence or a wall, or a wall-mounted style which is self-contained and hangs on a wall, are some of the options from which you can choose. Make certain to include a fountain mask to an existing wall and a basin to collect the water at the base if you want to put in a fountain to your living area. It is best not to attempt this job on your own as skilled plumbers and masons are best suited to do this type of work.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini's Outdoor Fountains
There are many popular fountains in the city center of Rome. Gian Lorenzo Bernini, one of the finest sculptors and artists of the 17th century planned, created and produced virtually all of them. Traces of his life's work are evident throughout the roads of Rome simply because, in addition to his... read more

A Short History of the First Outdoor Fountains
Villages and communities relied on practical water fountains to channel water for preparing food, washing, and cleaning from nearby sources like lakes, channels, or springs. A supply of water higher in elevation than the fountain was required to pressurize the movement and send water squirting from the... read more

A Concise History of the Early Garden Water Features
The water from rivers and other sources was originally supplied to the occupants of nearby towns and municipalities via water fountains, whose design was largely practical, not aesthetic. In the years before electric power, the spray of fountains was powered by gravity only, commonly using an aqueduct or water supply... read more

A Short History of Early Water Garden Fountains
Water fountains were originally practical in purpose, used to deliver water from rivers or springs to cities and hamlets, providing the inhabitants with fresh water to drink, wash, and prepare food with. A source of water higher in elevation than the fountain was required to pressurize the movement and send water spraying from the fountain's nozzle, a technology without equal until the later part of the nineteenth century. ... read more


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