HD photographs of Fontaine de Leda inside Jardin du Luxembourg - Page 10
This time while we were within the Jardin du Luxembourg in the 6th Arrondissement of Paris, we took these high definition photos showing the Fontaine de Leda water fountain.
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The Fontaine de Leda is actually not a very well known water fountain and is virtually hidden, as you can see from this first HD photo, yet it is positioned on the back of the historical Fontaine Medicis in the eastern part of the Luxembourg Gardens, and you can also see a part of this fountain as well.
Now the Fontaine de Leda was actually commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte when he wanted several drinking water fountains placed at different parts of the city, and constructed in the early part of the 1800s by the engineer Francois Bralle in collaboration with the sculptor Achille Valois, this was originally placed against a wall on the Rue du Regard by the Rue de Vaugirard.
However, when the city was being transformed by Baron Haussmann, the architect Gabriel Davioud came up with the idea of placing it at the back of the Fontaine Medicis to save it from being destroyed, yet it changed dramatically with the Naiads, or two water nymphs, which were added to the top next to the pediment and sculpted by Jean-Baptiste Klagmann, plus a half dome was also put in place by the architect Alphonse de Gisors.
Yet in this photo you can see the very top with the sculpture including a crown that is actually the back of the Medici Fountain, which was also originally designed as a grotto to be affixed to a building until it was moved to its current location, so Alphonse de Gisors was responsible for implementing these changes and putting the two fountains together.
But this next close up photo shows the most historical part of this fountain, which is a bas relief based upon the story of Leda and the swan that was sculpted by Achille Valois back in 1807, and in Roman mythology Jupiter, or Zeus in Greek mythology, transformed himself into a swan to seduce Leda, which is why the fountain is now known as the Fontaine de Leda.
So here you can see a plaque located on the eastern facade of these historical water fountains, which as you can see states the original architect for the Fontaine de Marie de Medicis along with the sculptor that transformed it, and underneath is the same scenario for the Fontaine de Leda, with the sculptors and architect mentioned.
There is also a small water feature with a semi-circular pond or basin located in front of the Leda Fountain, as you can see here, which is actually below one of the meandering paths of the Jardin du Luxembourg close to the eastern entrance by the Place Edmond Rostand, and it is actually quite hard to see this unless you go right up to the side of the fountain.
Originally the drinking water was designed to come out of the swans beak, however, when the Fontaine de Leda was redesigned, the three Mascarons, or masks, were added to the fountain to spurt out the water below the bas relief of Leda and the Swan.
And this close up image shows the detailing of just one of these Mascarons, which were designed and sculpted by Jean-Baptiste Klagmann for this new look fountain, although, as you can tell, they were not working when we took this photograph.
Now this photo shows the side of the Fontaine de Leda and a part of the Fontaine de Medicis, and this side lets you get an impressive view down the long basin of the Medici Fountain looking towards the Palais du Luxembourg within these historical gardens.
But in this last image you can see the entire Leda Fountain again, with the additional features we mentioned earlier, yet on the top triangular part, or pediment, there was once an eagle, representing the Empire during the time of Napoleon I, however, this was not actually restored, and is a completely new sculpture, so only the bas relief of Leda and the Swan remains the same from the original fountain in Paris.
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