Fontaine des Arts

Translated Print Title: 
[Fountain of the Arts]
Series/Book Title: 
Recueil de divers desseins de fontaines et de frises maritimes inventés et dessinés par Monsieur Le Brun…
Paris: Audran

Although Le Brun’s decorative influence extended into the gardens, not all of his many ideas for fountains came to be realized. Toward the end of his life, he had some of his unexecuted designs for Versailles reproduced and sold in print. This etching shows one side of a projected centerpiece for the Water Parterre in front of the main garden façade of the palace. The monumental sculpture (possibly inspired by Bernini’s fountain for the Piazza Navona in Rome) was supposed to represent Mount Helicon, inhabited by Pegasus, the Muses, and other allegories of the arts. Eventually a much simpler, less baroque design was adopted for this crucial area of the gardens.