Fountains of Rome

April 15, 2009

Of all the things in Rome, I’d have to say that the fountains were the most impressive sights I ever saw. Paintings and frescoes were great, but the stone sculpture I never tired of. These sculptures could almost breathe, they were so beautiful and dreamlike. Such fanciful subjects, such as Neptune and his attendant monsters and fish creatures. These images are from the Piazza Navona, which has three fountains, set in a long narrow piazza.

Neptune, spearing an octopus.

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My all time favorite sculpture. The little tail on the mermaid’s bottom just sends me. What imagination these artists had. I came away from Rome completely inspired, and do not doubt why I make art.

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The center fountain at Navona, designed by Bernini. Total fantasy. Topped with an Egyptian obelisk, one of many in Rome.

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Trevi Fountain is the most glorious of all the fountains in Rome. I couldn’t absorb the grandness of the sculpture, the size, and the detail, the concept, oh, just over the top incredible. While this fountain was mind blowing, I preferred the smaller, more intimate fountains of Paizza Navona, especially in the early morning before the vendors and tourists cover the pavement. This fountain, too, was designed by Bernini. He was, in my opinion, a most incredible genius.

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One thing that struck me, long after I’d left Rome, was that this richness in art most likely will never happen again, with this kind of intensity. What did it take to make this? Money and power, certainly, one cannot but feel that dark side of the soaring beauty. But how many hours did this take, how many lives were spent, how much joy of creation was discovered?

Why do we strive to make art? Because it makes us feel good. Because we can’t help it? The more we make the better we feel. I know it sounds trite, but this is what works for me.

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