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Veue de la Fontaine de l'Etoile à Versailles [View of the Fountain of the Star at Versailles], from the Veues des plus beaux lieux de France et d'Italie [Views of the Most Beautiful Places in France and Italy]
published by Langlois in 1704
22.5 cm x 31.1 cm (8 7/8 in. x 12 1/4 in.)
(Paris, 1638 - 1695, Paris)
Medium and Support:
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Leo Steinberg Collection, 2002
The many fountains at Versailles were technological wonders of their time, designed to amaze viewers with their opulence and remind them of the resources at Louis XIV’s disposal. They were placed throughout the gardens, each with its own special feature or novelty, which could be adjusted to create new effects.
The fountains at Versailles underscored Louis XIV’s power, indicating that he had subjected nature itself to his will. The Fontaine du Dragon spurted water as high as 80 feet out of the open mouth of the central dragon sculpture. More water features, including some artificial cascades visible in the background of the print, surrounded it. The Fontaine de l’Etoile was also known as the Mountain of Water because of the height of its outbursts.