Water Features
Barling Arkansas

The Beginnings of Modern Outdoor Wall Fountains

Himself a learned man, Pope Nicholas V led the Roman Catholic Church from 1397 till 1455 and was responsible for the translation of hundreds of ancient texts from their original Greek into Latin. He undertook the embellishment of Rome to make it into the model seat of the Christian world. Restoration of the Acqua Vergine, a desolate Roman aqueduct which had transported clean drinking water into the city from eight miles away, began in 1453 at the behest of the Pope. The ancient Roman tradition of marking the arrival point of an aqueduct with an magnificent celebratory fountain, also known as a mostra, was restored by Nicholas V.Beginnings Modern Outdoor Wall Fountains 057862912369871468.jpg The Trevi Fountain now occupies the area formerly filled with a wall fountain built by Leon Battista Albert, an architect employed by the Pope. Modifications and extensions, included in the restored aqueduct, eventually supplied the Trevi Fountain and the well-known baroque fountains in the Piazza del Popolo and Piazza Navona with the necessary water supply.

Creators of the First Water Fountains

Fountain designers were multi-talented individuals from the 16th to the late 18th century, often serving as architects, sculptors, artists, engineers and highly educated scholars all in one.Creators First Water Fountains 057862912369871468.jpg Leonardo da Vinci as a creative master, inventor and scientific expert exemplified this Renaissance artist. With his tremendous fascination regarding the forces of nature, he investigated the attributes and movement of water and also systematically recorded his observations in his now recognized notebooks. Early Italian water fountain builders altered private villa configurations into ingenious water displays full with emblematic meaning and natural beauty by coupling creativity with hydraulic and gardening expertise. Known for his incredible skill in archeology, architecture and garden design, Pirro Ligorio, the humanist, delivered the vision behind the magnificence in Tivoli. Other fountain designers, masterminding the fantastic water marbles, water functions and water antics for the many mansions in the vicinity of Florence, were tried and tested in humanist subjects and traditional scientific texts.