Saturday, March 13, 2010

Fountains of Paris

I have always had a particular fascination with fountains. Perhaps it is the relaxing sound of the water, bubbling forth from some secret source, or maybe it's how they draw you to them with their beauty and charm and the promise of delight.

David and I came across the fountain above as we were exploring the maze of streets in the Marais during our most recent trip to Paris. As we turned the corner to a dead end alley my breath stopped for a minute upon seeing this beauty. While strolling in Paris I always have the essentials. Camera, measuring tape, and my sketchbook in case I find something that I may paint later. David always generously lends a hand to help me measure. So I was able to measure it as best as I could so that I could draw it to scale back home.

Unfortunately I do not have any historical background on the fountain since there were no plaques of mention of the architect anywhere. My guess is that it is mid to late 18th century.

The fountain below may or may not even exist but a dealer I found on line was selling it. Although I did not buy it I used it as a model for practicing the Beaux Arts method of painting in grey washes. Like the fountain above it could have also have been used to terminate the end of a street or to grace the side of a building in a charming Parisian square. Maybe I will come upon it during our next visit to my favorite city?


Anonymous said...

Looked like there were watery references all over this monument in bands and water tumbling out of an urn on the pediment, but kind of frozen. Real cute! Shame about the graffiti.
Always great to discover these little unknown treasures when visiting foreign cities.
Thanks for the post
Best Wishes
The Hegarty Webber Partnership

Jeanette {A Passion for Home} said...

I sometimes forget that fountains are great inspiration in the architectural sense. And I do love the photos and prints you posted. Very architecturally appealing.

Patty said...

Everything is better in Paris ;) Your drawing is amazing you have such a talent!

Lord Cowell said...

I love the way your artistic license makes a nice monument or fountain into something fantastically romantic and beautiful. Thank you for sharing your art (I'm hanging out to see more...) David.

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...


Looking forward to seeing you in San Francisco.

In Paris next time--be sure to see the FONTAINE DES QUATRE SAISONS on the rue de Grenelle just near the famous BATHELEMY cheese shop and the MUSEE MAILLOL...a great beat, that block.
cheers, DIANE

Lila said...

What ornate fountains! They are beautiful and so inspirational. I think it's common for individuals to have interests in things that as a child you were forbidden to play with or in! A fountain is exactly the thing that continues to intrigue you and me!
Lila Ferraro
Queen Bedroom Sets

Sherry said...

I saw your house when it was on apartment therapy. I loved the round wall reliefs that were in your breakfast room. I have seen people use these before and have been looking for one for myself. I'm not sure what they are actually called but I think I may have finally stumbled upon a pair the other day. I was hoping you could tell me about yours. The ones I found looked like they were made out of stone and they were priced at $300 each. Is that a fair price? Thank you.

Michael Hampton said...

Dear Sherry,

Thanks for your note! I actually bought them a few years ago at And Beige here in DC. They are plaster reliefs made by Oly. Unfortunately they are not made anymore! If the ones you found were made of stone then you got a really good price since they were most likely carved and not cast like plaster is. Send me a photo!

This Photographer's Life said...

I love a good paris is such a part of the landscape... Did you drink out of any of the drinking fountains? I always want to, but I'm not that brave L)

Karena said...

Michael. so glad to find you. Kansas City is know as the City of Fountains, many imported from Europe of course. Love the fountains in Rome, have not yet been to Paris.

Art by Karena