Reference Entry

Fountain

Naomi Miller

in Oxford Art Online


Published online January 2003 | e-ISBN: 9781884446054 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gao/9781884446054.article.T029097

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  • Landscape Art and Architecture
  • Public Art, Land Art, and Environmental Art
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Sculptural or architectural structure that channels a spring or source of water and shapes it by means of jets or sprays, the water falling into one or more containers or basins.

Fountains may serve decorative or practical purposes and have, in a multitude of forms, been a feature of both public and private spaces since ancient times. They have been erected to celebrate technological advancement in a civilization, for example in the harnessing of water for public use; to serve as objects of religious significance or to commemorate events of historical importance; and to create poetic and theatrical displays.

Whereas the fountain is documented throughout the world, its absence from some areas is due to such factors as the lack of an adequate hydraulic system for its construction or, in terms of the fountain’s decorative function, the prevalence of a different aesthetic for the display of water.

The latter has historically been the case in East Asia. An essential feature of ...

Reference Entry.  7390 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Landscape Art and Architecture ; Public Art, Land Art, and Environmental Art ; Architecture ; Sculpture and Carving ; Art Techniques and Principles

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