Gian Lorenzo Bernini's Water Fountains

There are many celebrated water features in the city center of Rome. Gian Lorenzo Bernini, one of the greatest sculptors and artists of the 17th century developed, created and constructed nearly all of them. Marks of his life's work are evident throughout the streets of Rome because, in addition to his abilities as a water fountain builder, he was also a city builder. Bernini's father, a recognized Florentine sculptor, mentored his young son, and they eventually settled in Rome, to thoroughly exhibit their artwork in the form of public water fountains and water features. An exemplary worker, Bernin earned praise and the the backing of popes and well known painters. b-026__96292.jpg He was originally recognized for his sculpture. An authority in classic Greek engineering, he used this knowledge as a foundation and melded it seamlessly with Roman marble, most notably in the Vatican. He was influenced by many a great artists, however, Michelangelo had the biggest effect on his work.

The Roman Wall Fountains of Michelangelo

The 16th century saw the construction of the first Roman wall fountains, the works of two celebrated Florentine sculptures, Michelangelo and Ammannati. 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 brought water into the Capitol allowing a greater water display. Michelangelo, however, had predicted this which led to use of a larger basin styled on the forms of the late Cinquecento.

Was the well-known artist the mastermind of the wall fountain? Italy’s fountains certainly show the impact his designs had on the styles seen there. Today, this structural design is found at the Fountain of the River Gods at the Villa Lante, Bagnaia 1, and the Fountain of the Mugnone arranged among the stairs on the primary axis of the Villa Pratolino.

Michelangelo’s amazing talent was put aside because he was compelled to design fountains uniting classical elements and a Roman style. The Florentine maestro was instructed by Julius III (1550-1555) to design a distinctive fountain to be placed at the top of the passage of the Belvedere in the Vatican. A marble Moses hitting the rock from which water flowed was to adorn the fountain. However, an ancient figure of Cleopatra replaced the depiction of Moses because the latter would take too much time create. It was thought easier to use a classic statue above the fountain rather than have the eminent artist design a totally new figure.

Musical Fountains: Rhythms and Sounds

Musical fountains, often referred to as dancing fountains, are animated, aestheticallypleasing fountains used for recreational purposes. Timed light, including lasers, and sound waves which hit water molecules, generates phenomenal displays. In order to create the three-dimensional imagery, the water needs to refract and reflect the light.

Running into the millions of dollars, such large installations require hundreds of water jets and lights. Such a massive musical feature is very complex to build because of all the technical, hydraulic, and electrical components required to create the amazing effects - and could be considered more amazing than the actual show.

The fountain in Dubai is the biggest musical project worldwide. Designed by California based WET Design, which also developed the celebrated Las Vegas fountain at the Bellagio Hotel, it spans the 30-acre man-made Burj Khalifa Lake. This enormous water feature has 6,600 lights, 25 colored projectors, fog and fire. Incredibly, it measures 207-meters (902 feet) and jets water 150 meters (490 feet) high - this is equal to a 50-story building- and plays an variety of music including classical to modern Arabic and world music.

The total price tag was an estimated 218 million dollars. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum officially opened the fountain, as well as the Dubai Mall,on May 8, 2009. One has the perfect view of the fountain, located in front of the Burj Khalifa, from the Souk Al Bahar or the Dubai Mall.

Build it and They Will Come: Water Fountains and Wildlife

Wildlife and pets are naturally attracted to bird feeders and water fountains. Drinking, bathing, and grooming are some of the things birds need to do. There are some birds, like robins, thrushes, orioles, or warblers, which are not attracted to bird feeders, but are interested in fountains because of the moving water. While bowl-shaped bird baths can be uninteresting to many birds, fountains are more enticing because of the moving water they produce. Birds hear the trickling and splashing and are even more likely to come around.

Dogs love fountains as they provide another place to drink water. Dogs and cats will be outdoors looking out for clean water during hot weather. Constantly flowing water is also going to require much less cleaning than a still bowl of water from a birdbath, which collects debris.

Multi -Level Water Elements

Gardens are popular places to put up a multi-tiered fountain, a style which has historically been very fashionable. Mediterranean countries such as Italy and Spain traditionally have lots of multi-level fountains. Public squares and building courtyards are very common areas where you will see tiered fountains. All multi-level fountains are alluring, although some have much more lavish carvings than others.

Traditional or classic surroundings are ideal places for them. If done right, anyone seeing the fountain will think it has been there for many years.

The Earliest Garden Fountains

As initially developed, fountains were designed to be functional, directing water from streams or reservoirs to the residents of towns and settlements, where the water could be utilized for cooking, cleaning, and drinking. To generate water flow through a fountain until the end of the 1800’s, and generate a jet of water, demanded gravity and a water source such as a spring or reservoir, situated higher than the fountain. Fountains spanning history have been crafted as monuments, impressing hometown citizens and travelers alike. If you saw the earliest fountains, you wouldn't recognize them as fountains. The first known water fountain was a natural stone basin carved that was used as a receptacle for drinking water and ceremonial functions. 2,000 BC is when the oldest identified stone fountain basins were used. Early fountains put to use in ancient civilizations relied on gravity to control the flow of water through the fountain. Located near aqueducts or creeks, the practical public water fountains provided the local populace with fresh drinking water. Animals, Gods, and religious figures dominated the initial ornate Roman fountains, beginning to appear in about 6 B.C.. The Romans had an intricate system of aqueducts that supplied the water for the many fountains that were situated throughout the urban center.

Pets and Outdoor Fountains

Take into account how your cat or dog may respond to a water feature before you get one. Your pet dog could think that your stand-alone fountain looks like a large pond to drink from or a pool in which to bathe. Adding a water feature to your property is a great idea, one which is certain to benefit your pets. Your fountain may draw in birds who think it is a fantastic place to cool down, so it is important to think about where you will place this type of water feature. Putting a birdbath in your yard is the ideal answer if you want to attract birds. Setting up a wall water fountain inside your house is a good alternative if you want to avoid such issues. It is common to see these kinds of fountains in dental or medical workplaces as well as in lavish homes.


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