Water fountains have long been a part of daily life. The original fountains, such as those built in ancient Rome and Greece, were created to connect to springs and aqueducts to provide drinking and bathing water for the people who lived in the area. They sometimes constructed their fountains above springs that they believed to hold magical properties. During the renaissance, the design of water fountains changed remarkably. With the renewed interest in art, literature and sculpture came a period when art was designed to imiitate life more thoroughy. Many of these early fountains were designed in the image of gods and goddesses of the time. Some of these fountains are to this day, among the most famous and admired in the world.
While today we see outdoor fountains as beautiful decorations or adornments for a garden or park, their history actually shows that they once served far more practical purposes. Fountains were often constructed to provide horses and other animals with drinking water as well. Zoos and other places also use fountains to provide fresh drinking an bathing water for many animals. The circulation of the water prevents stagnation and keeps water fresh and healthy for animals.
In may parts of the world, fountains are still used to provide drinking and bathing water for people. While most developed nations utilize indoor plumbing and other modern technologies, there are a number of underdeveloped nations who still rely on these outdoor fountains as a primry source of water.
The history of the fountain is certainly a unique one from both a practical and artistic standpoint. Outdoor water fountains dating back many centuries still stand among the most remarkable pieces of art in the world. To understand that these fountains were once rather pratical and served the drinking and bathing needs of the people of those times certainly serves to make them even more wondrous.
Beginning in the 1800's, water fountain design in the United State began. For a while, the majority of water fountains built in the United States were a derivative of the designs created in Europe. It would not be until the 1900's that the United States would branch off, creating not only a unique form of fountain design, but a unique world of art as a whole. While classical and antique fountain styles are still popular, the United States has a large market for abstract and modern water fountains.
Today the water fountain takes many forms. In the United States alone, fountains range from Asian themes such as Zen fountains to abstract fountains created from simplistiic materials; unique shapes can be easily found. The concept of art and beauty has grown considerably over the last century, and the fountain is now as much a place to display artistic tastes as it was once a place to celebrate the sculpture of centuries long past.
Water fountains will always be a part of culture and art. Although these fountains were once used for practical purposes, such as watering plants or animal or magical healing purposes they are often used today simply for their beauty. The hsitory of the fountain is certainly a rich one, and a growing appreciation for art and beauty ensures that this history will continue to gorw for many years to come.