Roman Wall Fountains: Michelangelo’s Masterpieces

The 16th century saw the construction of the most ancient Roman wall fountains, the products 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 front of the Palazzo Senatorio. ft-47__91525.jpg A conduit from the Aqua Felice was constructed later and it carried water to the Capitol making a more impressive water effect possible. Styled on the late Cinquecento, Michelangelo built a larger basin, anticipating the construction of the conduit.

Did the creation of wall fountains begin with the famed artist? Italy’s fountains definitely show the impact his designs had on the styles found there. Today, this structural style 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.

Rather than creating fountains based on his own brilliance, Michelangelo was doomed to integrating conventional elements into Roman-styled structures. Julius III (1550-1555) decided to have a fountain erected at the top of the Belvedere in the Vatican and commissioned the Florentine artist to design a special wall fountain. A marble figure of Moses striking a stone streaming water was to be built as embellishment for the fountain. Rather than creating the Moses statue, which would take too much time to finish, an antique figure of Cleopatra was used in its place, however. It was considered easier to use a traditional statue above the fountain rather than have the eminent artist design a totally new figure.

Explore the World’s Tallest Fountains

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia has the leading continuously- running fountain known as the King Fahd Fountain (1985). Reaching incredible heights above the Red Sea, this fountain jets water 260 meters (853 feet) in the air.

The World Cup Fountain located in the Han-Gang River in Seoul, Korea (2002), comes in 2nd place with water shooting up 202 meters (663 feet).

Occupying third place is the Gateway Geyser (1995), located near the Mississippi River in St. Louis, Missouri. This fountain is considered the tallest in the U.S. with water reaching up to 192 meters (630 feet).

Next is the fountain found in Karachi, Pakistan (Port Fountain) which shoots water up to 190 meters (620 feet) in height.

Number 4 is Water at Fountain Park (1970) situated in Fountain Hills, Arizona - it can reach up to 171 meters (561 feet) when all three pumps are working, even though it normally only reaches up to 91 meters (300 feet).

The Dubai Fountain was opened in 2009 next to Burj Khalifa - the world's tallest building. The fountain propels water up to 73 meters (240 feet) and performs once every half hour to pre-recorded music - and even has extreme shooters, not used in every show, which reach up to 150 meters (490 feet).

Constructed in 1970, the Captain James Cook Memorial Jet in Canberra, Australia, comes in at number 7 shooting water up to 147 meters (482 feet).

The last impressive fountain to make the list is the Jet d’Eau (1951) in Geneva, Switzerland, measuring 140 meters (460 feet).

The Cascade Water Fountain Located at The Garden of Chatsworth

The Cascade garden fountain forms an amazing garden focal point at the back of Chatsworth House. Twenty-four irregularly spaced stone steps in a series run along 200 yards towards the house and down the hillside. The Cascade, also entirely gravity fed, is based on a 17th century French design. Remaining unaltered since its inception, this water fountain was originally designed for the very first Duke of Devonshire in 1696. The Cascade House overlooks the fountain, where water gently moves downward. Sea creatures in bas-relief enhance the external part of the dwelling which is a small-scale construction. Just before continuing down the Cascade, on unique occasions water pressure to the Cascade may be boosted, causing the Cascade House to become part of the Cascade spectacle, as water passes through piping on its roof and from the mouths of its carved ocean creatures. The sound of the water cascading may vary as it descends down the Cascades, providing a fantastic and relaxing complement to a walk through the gardens and created by the slight difference of every step. In 2004, Chatsworth's Cascade was named the best water feature in England.

Anglo-Saxon Landscapes at the Time of the Norman Conquest

Anglo-Saxons experienced great modifications to their daily lives in the latter half of the eleventh century due to the accession of the Normans. At the time of the conquest, the Normans surpassed the Anglo-Saxons in building design and cultivation. Nonetheless the Normans had to pacify the overall territory before they could concentrate on home life, domestic architecture, and decoration. Because of this, castles were cruder buildings than monasteries: Monasteries were often important stone buildings located in the biggest and most fecund valleys, while castles were built on windy crests where their inhabitants devoted time and space to tasks for offense and defense. The sterile fortresses did not provide for the peaceful avocation of horticulture.

Berkeley Castle, maybe the most uncorrupted model of the early Anglo-Norman style of architecture, still exists today. The keep is rumored to have been conceived during the time of William the Conqueror. As a technique of deterring assailants from tunneling beneath the walls, an immense terrace surrounds the building. On one of these parapets is a scenic bowling green covered in grass and surrounded by an aged hedge of yew that has been designed into coarse battlements.

At What Point Did Water Features Originate?

Hundreds of classic Greek texts were translated into Latin under the authority of the scholarly Pope Nicholas V, who led the Roman Catholic Church from 1397 to 1455. In order to make Rome deserving of being the capital of the Christian world, the Pope resolved to embellish the beauty of the city. In 1453 the Pope instigated the reconstruction of the Aqua Vergine, an ancient Roman aqueduct which had carried fresh drinking water into the city from eight miles away. The ancient Roman custom of building an awe-inspiring commemorative fountain at the point where an aqueduct arrived, also known as a mostra, was resurrected by Nicholas V. At the bidding of the Pope, architect Leon Battista Alberti began the construction of a wall fountain in the spot where we now find the Trevi Fountain. The water which eventually provided the Trevi Fountain as well as the acclaimed baroque fountains in the Piazza del Popolo and Piazza Navona came from the modified aqueduct which he had renovated.

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

In 1588, Agrippa’s water-lifting discovery attracted the attention and praise of Andrea Bacci but that turned out to be one of the last mentions of the device. It could perhaps be that in 1592 when Rome’s latest channel, the Acqua Felice, started delivering the Villa Medici, there was simply no longer a great deal usage for the equipment. This becomes all the more sad given how spectacular Camillo Agrippa’s technology was, entirely singular in Italy during the hundreds of years that passed between the downfall of ancient Rome and the current era. Renaissance gardens of the late 16th century were home to works such as musical fountains, scenographic water presentations and water caprices (giochi d’acqua), but these were not outfitted with water in ways that went against the force of gravity itself.

What Are Outdoor Water fountains Manufactured From?

While today’s garden fountains are made in a variety of materials, the majority are crafted from metal. Metallic fountains, with their clean lines and sculptural accents, come in in a range of metals and can accommodate any style or budget. If you have a modern look and feel to your interior design, your yard and garden should reflect that same look.

One of the more common metals for sculptural garden fountains these days is copper. Copper is used in cascade and tabletop water fountains as well as many other styles, making it versatile enough for inside and outside fountains. If you opt to go with copper, your fountain can be any style from fun and whimsical to contemporary.

If you are drawn to more classic-looking water fountains, brass is probably what you want. Though not the most stylish, the creatures and sculptural features you find on fountains are mostly made of brass, thus making them very popular.

Of all the metals, stainless steel is recognized as the most modern -looking. For an instant increase in the value and serenity of your garden, get one of the contemporary steel designs. As with all fountains, you can get any size you need.

For people who want the look of a metal fountain but want a lighter weight and more affordable option, fiberglass is the answer. Keeping a fiberglass water fountain clean and working well is quite simple, another aspect consumers love.


The Distribution of Outdoor Garden Fountain Manufacturing Knowledge in Europe
The published papers and illustrated publications of the time contributed to the evolution of scientific technology, and were the chief methods of transmitting useful hydraulic facts and water fountain ideas all through... read more
Rome, Gian Bernini, And Water Fountains
In Rome’s city center, there are many celebrated water fountains. Practically all of them were planned, conceived and built by one of the greatest sculptors and designers of the 17th century, Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Also a city designer, he... read more
Agrippa’s Magnificent Water-lifting Appliance
In 1588, Agrippa’s water-lifting innovation captivated the interest and approval of Andrea Bacci but that turned out to be one of the last references of the gadget. It might have become dated when the Villa Medici was enabled to obtain water from the Acqua... read more
Attributes of Outdoor Sculpture in Archaic Greece
The Archaic Greeks manufactured the 1st freestanding statuary, an impressive achievement as most sculptures up until then had been reliefs cut into walls and pillars.... read more
Attributes of Outdoor Statues in Archaic Greece
Up right up until the Archaic Greeks developed the first freestanding sculpture, a phenomenal achievement, carvings had chiefly been done in walls and pillars as reliefs. Kouros figures, statues of adolescent,... read more
Sculpture As a Staple of Classic Art in Archaic Greece
Archaic Greeks were renowned for creating the first freestanding statuary; up till then, most carvings were formed out of walls and pillars as reliefs. Younger, attractive male or female (kore)... read more