Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fontaine Wallace -- Marais



This 1870s cast-iron sculpture is one of the more than 77 public water fountains scattered throughout Paris, financed, conceived, and drawn by Sir Richard Wallace, a British billionaire. He directed that these fountains be both useful and beautiful, blending in with his adopted city. The fountain above was the original design of Wallace, sculpted by Charles-Auguste Lebourg, the first of four designs to be installed. This one in the Marais (4ième arr.) incorporates 4 caryatids representing "kindness," "simplicity," "charity," and "sobriety" and features dolphins on the dome.


For years I saw these fountains and never knew the story behind them, how they have for over a century provided potable water to Parisians and visitors. Most of them are still in use.


In a few weeks I will be looking for the other three styles... just because.

27 comments:

RICHARD MOISAN said...

Moi non plus, je n'ai jamais été mis au courant de l'histoire de ces fontaines parisiennes. Et pourtant, c'est très intéressant.
Merci Genie, et bonne journée!

Rob-bear said...

Oui, Genie. Comme Richard a dit, les fontaines et leur histoire sont très intéressantes.

jb said...

And those nubiles would be the Grommet sisters, I assume

Viennese Girl Vreni said...

I love those fountains! Thanks for sharing their story!

Nina said...

Oh they are adorable!

Cezar and Léia said...

Very interesting post Genie!
This detail of the fountain is fabulous, they are so gorgeous!
Léia :)

Louis la Vache said...

«Louis» didn't know the story behind these fountains. He finds it interesting that they were installed during the Napoléon III/Haussmann remodeling of Paris.

Suzi said...

Ah Genie,
What a love about paris is --- there is always a story to be told and something to learn. Thank you for being a teacher today --- I am forever in study of this beautiful city. x

Elizabeth said...

Thank you for the reminder, I am going to look these up when I return.

Tammy@Beatrice Banks said...

I always learn something on your blog. The fountains are beautiful. Love how even the most common things are turned into a work of art.

Forest Dream Weaver said...

Lovely delicate sculpture.....very much of it's time.
Enjoy your day Genie! R x

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

I've never actually seen any of these fountains. Interesting to hear about! It's gorgeous and so intricate; almost like everything in Paris...

Virginia said...

I love them too. Try the square across the street from the church I featured Sunday. There is also one in the square near Mouffetard, on the way to Metro Censier Daubenton! Look at me , I sound like Peter! :)
V

LuxeBytes said...

Fantastique!

Harriet said...

Love these fountains. I didn't know that there were 4 different designs. Looking forward to seeing the others.

Loree said...

A beautiful fountain - can't wait to see the others.

Sylvia K said...

What a gorgeous fountain and a terrific capture, Genie! Look forward to seeing more! Hope you have a great weekend! Enjoy!

Sylvia

Starman said...

Several years ago, it took a lot of talking on my part to get my friend to refill her water bottle from the one in front of Shakespeare's.

Aesthetic Alterations said...

Whenever I see these, I think of the one by the Flower Market on the Ile de la Cité. Flowers and the art nouveau decorations--a perfect combination.

Clueless in Boston said...

It is a beautiful fountain, both practical and beautiful.

Jack said...

Paris seems to have a knack for making practical items beautiful at the same time. Yes, it costs a bit more to achieve that, but it is so worth it!

Alexa said...

I saw several on this last trip and thought about how beautiful they are—but certainly didn't know all this about them. So merci beaucoup for the tutorial, Genie!

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Richard -- Elles sont reconnues dans le monde entier comme un des symboles de Paris... C'est intéressant, n'est-ce pas?

Bear -- Merci, mon ours

jb -- Hummmmm... I am not sure about that

Vreni -- So glad! Thanks

Nina -- This one is 9 feet tall (3 meters and some)

Léia -- There is even a red one and I am going to find it!!

Louis -- I do think that it goes with that architectural period and they have a certain elegance.

Suzi -- I am constantly amazed at the hidden stories. These fountains had cups for drinking in them until they were removed by the French health department in 1952!

Elizabeth -- They are pretty easy to spot and there are many of them placed in central areas

Tammy -- Merci... These were so designed also because they were of low cost to craft and maintain... amazing!

R -- It is indeed and merci!

Brittany -- There were three other designs. One was a smaller version of this large one

Virginia -- So, were you drinking out of them?

Luxe -- Glad that you like it... nice to see you here

Harriet -- Almost all of the wrought iron of that period was this dark green. I started to show this in b/w but the green compelled me not to

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Loree -- You will definitely see it if I find that red one!

Sylvia -- Merci, mon amie!

Starman -- Was that Virginia?

AA -- I will have to find that one as I agree with your thoughts on the combination.

Clueless -- Merci, and yet, I do not think that I would want to drink out of the communal cup (at least it is gone now)

Jack -- It is such an interesting sight and I did not know how many there were. I should have said in my narrative that there are 77 of the originals remaining. I was vague

Alexa -- Je t'en prie, mon amie!

Randy said...

Very interesting indeed and so decorative.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Randy -- Merci, mon ami et bon weekend!

M said...

I am ready to find (and photograph) the others --- but I would like to stop by this one as well. Lovely photo and fascinating history. P minus 10!!!