Tag Archives: Sir Richard Wallace

Naiad Fountain

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

In the 19th century Sir Richard Wallace was a wealthy English art collector and philanthropist who lived in France. He designed four models of drinking fountains to provide clean drinking water to the citizens of Paris and France. They had to be tall enough to be seen from afar but not overwhelm the landscape; visually attractive; resistant to the elements; and economical.

The Applied model found in the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden (Jardim Botânico located in the Zona Sul of Rio de Janeiro, at the foot of the Corcovado Mountain) was created to be installed on the walls of public buildings such as hospitals and railway stations.

The fountain was manufactured by the Val d’Osne Foundry in France. It consists of an arched pediment with a central panel flanked by two pilasters. The base is extended on each side with a scroll casting containing bulrush bas relief. The foot of the pilasters are decorated with two sea serpents (symbolic protector of all things related to water.) Foliate relief is visible beneath the cornice.

The arch contains a large shell with scrolls surrounding the head of a Naiad. In Greek mythology, a Naiad was a female water nymph who guarded fountains, wells, and other bodies of fresh water. Her hair is braided and her head is bowed. Water falls from her open mouth into a demi-lune basin in the central panel. The original water goblets are missing probably removed with the awareness of public hygiene in the middle of the 20th century. Additional decorative bas-relief below the basin provides the illusion of support.

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An identical fountain is located in Paris, on the Rue Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire.

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Glossary:

  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Foliate, decorated with leaves or leaf like motif
  • Pediment, an element in architecture consisting of a gable placed above a horizontal structure supported by columns
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure

Lisburn’s Wallace Fountains

Location: Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Ireland

Sir Richard Wallace was a wealthy English art collector, philanthropist and Member of Parliament for Lisburn, Northern Ireland from 1873 to 1885 before retiring in Paris, France. When the Franco Prussian war damaged many of the aqueducts in Paris there remained little access to clean water for many of the most needy Parisians. His solution to this problem was the erection of public drinking fountains.

The famous Caratyd drinking fountains were manufactured by the Val d’Osne Foundry from a work of art by the French sculptor, Charles-Auguste Lebourg, in 1872. A stamp is visible on the fountain: Ch. Lebourg SC 1872.

Sir Richard donated five fountains to his former parliamentary constituency at Lisburn in 1876. Each was to be placed in a working class district of the city.

  1. at the junction of Market Place and Bow Street;
  2. in Market Square;
  3. in the Castle Gardens, which remains in its original position;
  4. at the junction of Seymour Street, Low Road and Millbrook, in front of the Seymour Street Methodist Church;
  5. in the Wallace Park, main walk.

During the war years three of the fountains were dismantled to accommodate the demand for metal to make armaments. Numbers 2 and 3 are the only remaining fountains.

The fountain at Market Square was relocated to Wallace Gardens circa 1922 to allow for the erection of a monument to General John Nicholson. Vandalised in the 1970s and 1980s it was returned to Market Square where the monument and fountain resided in a sunken garden. In 2013 the fountain was returned to its previous home in Wallace Park.

The Castle Gardens and its Wallace fountain were restored by Lisburn City Council with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The base of the famous forest green fountain (the colour chosen to blend in with parks and trees) is a Greek cross plinth with canted corners from which the pedestal arises. An elaborate console decorated with a scallop shell from which a string of pearls flows separates four column panels on which the image of a water serpent is coiled around a trident. The trident is associated with the mythological Poseidon who struck the earth and water sprung up. A scallop is symbolic of baptism and fertility, and pearls represent purity and wisdom.

A cornice contains the name of the manufacturer, Val D’Osne, and another records the name of the sculptor, Ch. Lebourg SC / 1872. Four caratytids, each subtly different in posture and dress, stand with raised arms to support a fish scale dome with fleur-de-lys cornice. The four dolphins with entwined tails at the apex are a symbolic protector of all things related to water.

The statues in feminine form represent kindness, simplicity, charity and sobriety (at a time when the Temperance Movement was very active.) They also represent the 4 seasons: Simplicity symbolizes spring, Charity: summer, Sobriety: autumn and Kindness: winter. The statues differ from each other in several other ways: Simplicity and Sobriety have their eyes closed; whereas the eyes of Kindness and Charity are open. They are also different in the position of the knee and feet, or by the manner in which their tunic is knotted at the bodice.

A stream of water descended from the interior of the dome into a basin. Tin cups were originally chained to the fountains until public hygiene became a prevalent social issue.

Glossary

  • Canted corner, an angled surface which cuts of a corner
  • Caryatid, a sculpted female figure serving as an architectural support taking the place of a column or a pillar supporting an entablature on her head
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.

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Barcelona Caratyds Fountain

 

In the 19th century Sir Richard Wallace was a wealthy English art collector and philanthropist who lived in France. When the Franco Prussian war damaged many of the aqueducts in Paris there remained little access to clean water for many of the most needy Parisians. His solution to this problem was the erection of public drinking fountains.

The column fountain was designed by French sculptor Charles A. Lebourg in 1872 with four caratyds supporting a cupola. Richard Wallace purchased hundreds of fountains which he donated to major cities throughout the world. Twelve Wallace Fountains were donated to Barcelona on the occasion of the 1888 Universal Exhibition. Only two of the original remain at the Rambla in front of the Wax Museum; and in Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes with Paseo de Gràcia. Other Wallace fountains located throughout the city are replicas cast from the original molds.

The fountains were originally forest green with a cross shaped plinth from which the pedestal arises. An elaborate console decorated with a scallop shell from which a string of pearls flows separates four panels on which the image of a water serpent is coiled around a trident. The trident is associated with the mythological Poseidon who struck the earth and water sprung up. A scallop is symbolic of baptism and fertility, and pearls represent purity and wisdom. One panel contains an inscription above the Barcelona City crest: Sociedad / General / de / Aquas / De / Barcelona. Below the crest is an inscription. Agua / Tomada /Directamente / Del / Contador. A cornice contains the name of the designer, Ch.Lebourg SC / 1872.

Four caratytids with raised arms support a fish scale cupola with a fleur de lys on each side; one of which has been affectionately named Vera. The statues in feminine form represent kindness, simplicity, charity and sobriety (at a time when the Temperance Movement was very active.) They also represent the 4 seasons: Simplicity symbolizes spring, Charity: summer, Sobriety: autumn and Kindness: winter. The statues differ from each other in several other ways: Simplicity and Sobriety have their eyes closed; whereas the eyes of Kindness and Charity are open. They are also different in the position of the knee and feet, or by the manner in which their tunic is knotted at the bodice.

A stream of water originally descended from the interior of the dome into a basin. Tin cups were chained to the fountains until 1952 when public hygiene became a more prevalent social issue. Water is now released with the press of a button into a shell shaped basin. The four dolphins with entwined tails at the apex are a symbolic protector of all things related to water .

Glossary

  • Caryatid, a sculpted female figure serving as an architectural support taking the place of a column or a pillar supporting an entablature on her head
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Cupola, a small, domed structure on top of a roof.
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.

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Image Sources

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Wallace_fountains_in_Eixample_(Barcelona)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/58789412@N00/4463522258/


The Wallace Fountains, France

In the 19th century Sir Richard Wallace was a wealthy English art collector and philanthropist who lived in France. When the Franco Prussian war damaged many of the aqueducts in Paris there remained little access to clean water for many of the most needy Parisians. His solution to this problem was the erection of public drinking fountains. The first of 108 fountains was installed on Boulevard de la Villette in the 19th arrondissement in 1875. The remainder is distributed throughout France although most were installed in Paris. For a comprehensive list, description and photographs, click on this link http://www.fontaine-wallace.info/

There were three different type of cast iron fountains manufactured by the Val d’Osne Foundry: 1) wall mounted with a push button release for water, 2) a pedestal fountain that provided a permanent albeit minimum flow of water, and 3) a work of art by the French sculptor, Charles-Auguste Lebourg. The latter form is the model that we shall discuss.

 

The base of the famous forest green fountain (the colour chosen to blend in with parks and trees) is a Greek cross plinth with canted corners from which the pedestal arises. An elaborate console decorated with a scallop shell from which a string of pearls flows separates four column panels on which the image of a water serpent is coiled around a trident. The trident is associated with the mythological Poseidon who struck the earth and water sprung up. A scallop is symbolic of baptism and fertility, and pearls represent purity and wisdom.

The cornice contains the name of the manufacturer, Val D’Osne, and another records the name of the sculptor, Ch. Lebourg SC / 1872. Four caratytids each subtly different in posture and dress, stand with raised arms to support a fish scale dome with fleur-de-lys cornice. The four dolphins with entwined tails at the apex is a symbolic protector of all things related to water.

The statues in feminine form represent kindness, simplicity, charity and sobriety (at a time when the Temperance Movement was very active.) They also represent the 4 seasons: Simplicity symbolizes spring, Charity: summer, Sobriety: autumn and Kindness: winter. The statues differ from each other in several other ways: Simplicity and Sobriety have their eyes closed; whereas the eyes of Kindness and Charity are open. They are also different in the position of the knee and feet, or by the manner in which their tunic is knotted at the bodice.

A stream of water descended from the interior of the dome into a basin. Tin cups were originally chained to the fountains until public hygiene became a prevalent social issue.

A Wallace Fountain can be seen outside the Wallace Collection in London, the gallery that houses the works of art collected by Sir Richard Wallace and the first four Marquesses of Hertford.

A Wallace Fountain can be seen outside the Wallace Collection in London, the gallery that houses the works of art collected by Sir Richard Wallace and the first four Marquesses of Hertford.

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Glossary

  • Canted corner, an angled surface which cuts of a corner
  • Caryatid, a sculpted female figure serving as an architectural support taking the place of a column or a pillar supporting an entablature on her head
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.

Sources:

http://www.prosperityfountain.com/famous-drinking-water-fountains.html

http://www.garden-fountains.com/article/cast-iron-wallace-fountains-in-paris

http://parisianfields.wordpress.com/2013/05/12/the-man-who-gave-paris-50-fountains/

http://invisiblebordeaux.blogspot.ca/2013/06/the-wallace-fountains-of-bordeaux.html

http://en.apolliner.com/tag/decorative-arts/

http://ingejohnsson.photoshelter.com/image/I0000gyRRhK3ouC0

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/montmartre-wallace-fountain-inge-johnsson.html