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The Fountains

The Fountains


The Triton Cloche Fountains

Four identical fountains with pools of Baroque shape are set at an equal distance from each other in the avenue which borders the Garden of Bacchus. Each has in the centre a bronze sculpture of a young Triton, holding over his head a large disc with a knob in the centre. Above the knob there is a nozzle with a round cover over it; when a stream of water is forced between the nozzle and the cover, it breaks and falls about the knob in the form of a clear liquid bell, or cloche, and flows down over the sides of the disc in a thin transparent sheet.

The idea of creating four fountains along the avenue, using water from the Menager Fountains, was conceived by Peter in 1722; he proposed making tufa hillocks in two semi-oval niches and placing there mechanical figures worked by water. Two years later he instructed Zemtsov to make drawings for four "fable" groups. Pineau was to carve sculptures from them, but because of the pressure of work he never completed the task. It was only in 1732 that Zemtsov and Sualem realized the idea of the four fountains, using leaden figures of young Tritons, cast in England in 1721 from drawings made by Braunstein for the Great Cascade. In 1912 the Pudost limestone surrounds were replaced by granite ones, which repeated the original shape of the fountains and did not change their decor, which was left unaltered for about two centuries.

During the war the leaden sculptures were looted by the Nazis. When the fountains were restored in 1954, bronze sculptures made from photographs by the sculptor Alexey Gurzhy were placed in the fountain pools.

The Triton Cloche Fountains are interesting examples of waterworks from the first quarter of the eighteenth century. In the composition of the Marly ensemble they serve as a link between the Garden of Bacchus, with its varying forms of fountain display, and the water-garden which stretches in front of the Marly Palace.

The Triton Cloche Fountain.
Architect J. Braunstain. 1721.


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