q. The Three Fountains. This is a beautifull Rural Grove in which the murmurs of the Fountains and the Cascades of Water; at the same time most agreeable entertain the Eyes and Ears, the large Spout at the end of the Grove rises 22 feet, and the Spouts inthe Octogone Basin 170 feet. The Fountain of the Pyramid: so called from the resemblance it bears to a Pyramid, it consists of 4 Basins one above the other; the tower most of which 12 Feet in Diameter, under which are 4 Tritons who seem to be at play and running after one another, above them are several other Figures & Ornaments which support the other Basins.
[London. Printed & Sold by John Bowles Print & Map Seller at Mercers Hall in Cheapside, 1726.]
Engraving with small margins, paper watermarked. Plate 222 x 272mm (8¾ x10¾"). Fold.
The Grove of the Three Fountains. Designed by Le Nôtre in 1677, this grove is the only one mentioned on an old plan as “from the king’s thoughts”. It consists of three terraces each with a different fountain. Restored in 2005, it has recovered its magnificent composition and its jets of water desired by the king: in the lower fountain, the jets form a fleur-de-lys in the centre, vertical spouts and a vault of water, while above it is a column of water formed by 140 jets; moreover, it is this imposing column which supplies the lower fountains. Well hidden by the trellises, this grove had been laid out so that the king, aged 39, then suffering from gout, could reach it seated in a chair with castors and get up the grassy access ramps. The Pyramid Fountain. Executed by the sculptor François Girardon from a drawing by Charles Le Brun, the Pyramid in the centre of the fountain took three years to build. It consists of four superimposed lead bowls supported by lead tritons, dolphins and crayfish. From "Versailles Illustrated, or Divers Views of the Several Parts of the Royal Palace of Versailles; as likewise of all the Fountains, Groves, Parterras, ye Labyrinth & other ye most Beautiful Parts of the Gardens, Wherein are represented whatever is remarkable whether Statues, Groups of Figures, Water Fall, Pleasure Houses, &c. Drawn on the Spot by the Order & with the Approbation of the French King".
[Ref: 28532] £60.00