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JARDINS DE VERSAILLES – BASSIN DE LATONE

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Postcards915 of 1654Jugendstil Postcard Album, containing embossed Christmas PostcardsLot of vintage U.S.A postcards.
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    Posted 10 years ago

    vetraio50
    (751 items)

    A fountain dedicated to the mother of Apollo.

    The Latona Fountain lies in the Latona Basin between the Chateau de Versailles and the Grand Canal. It began as an oval fountain created during the reign of Louis XIII. It was part of a plan to install piping and the hydraulics necessary to supply water features at the Palace that took twenty years to complete.

    In 1667 Gaspard and Balthazar Marsy were commissioned to carve animal figures to decorate the oval fountain. The figures chosen by them for this fountain were twenty frogs that spouted water towards the centre of the fountain. Another twenty four frogs and lizards decorated the parterre and spouted outwards.

    In 1668 a decision was made to integrate this fountain into the legend of the Sun King. Louis XIV wanted a fountain in the centre of his garden telling the story of the childhood of Apollo. Apollo was the sun god that Louis had chosen as his emblem. The new design was to dedicate this fountain to Latona the mother of Apollo and Diana.

    In an episode told by Ovid in Book VI of the Metamorphoses Latona the mistress of Jupiter was forced to flee owing to the jealousy of her rival Juno. One day, after arriving in Lycia ( in present-day Turkey) she approached a pool in a marsh to drink the water. Local peasants prevented her and in her fury she laid a curse on them that changed them into frogs.

    “The Marsy brothers were given a new commission for sculptures. Balthazar, the younger one, executed six lead figures of peasants. Half-human and half-frog, they are depicted at more or less advanced stages of their metamorphosis and were installed in 1669 on the six pre-existing bubbling features. Gaspard, the elder brother, executed the marble sculpture group of Latona and her Children. This group was installed in 1670 in the centre of the basin.

    In two years, from 1687 to 1689, Jules Hardouin-Mansart (1646 - 1708) considerably modified the composition by turning Latona towards the Grand Perspective and raising her above the other figures. Installed on a marble pyramid with four tiers, Latona then turned her back on the Palace and looked towards the horizon. As the two Marsy brothers had died, Hardouin-Mansart commissioned some new animal figures from the sculptor Claude Bertin (1653 - 1705).

    The figures of lizards and turtles are placed at ground level in the fountain. Peasants undergoing metamorphosis and frogs are placed on the first tier of the pyramid. The next two tiers feature frogs. Lastly, on the summit, the bright marble statue of Latona dominates this aquatic fauna cast in gilded lead.”

    http://latone.chateauversailles.fr/en/page/the-latona-fountain/history-of-the-latona-fountain

    The fountain operates three times a week during the high season.

    This is a postcard published by L.L. Phot No. 25: Levy Sons & Co. (1895-1919). Paris, France and London, England.

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    Comments

    1. SEAN68 SEAN68, 10 years ago
      stunning!! and great history!!
    2. vetraio50 vetraio50, 10 years ago
      Many thanks AGHCOLLECT, JULIE 'n SEAN B too !!!!!
    3. racer4four racer4four, 10 years ago
      Great history.
      The video on the link is good too...the figures were not what I imagined when I read your notes...actually much better!
    4. vetraio50 vetraio50, 10 years ago
      Many thanks PHIL, POPS 'n KAREN too!
    5. vetraio50 vetraio50, 10 years ago
      http://latone.chateauversailles.fr/en/page/the-latona-fountain/history-of-the-latona-fountain
    6. vetraio50 vetraio50, 10 years ago
      Hi KAREN. They are best seen in the video on their recent removal from the fountain during restoration.
    7. vetraio50 vetraio50, 10 years ago
      Many thanks MIKELV !!!!!!!
    8. vetraio50 vetraio50, 10 years ago
      Many thanks TED STRAUB !!!!!!!
    9. Virginia.vintage Virginia.vintage, 10 years ago
      Love it!
    10. vetraio50 vetraio50, 10 years ago
      Many thanks ROYCROFTBOOKSFROMME, GARY 'n VIRGINIAVINTAGE too !!!!!!!
    11. SEAN68 SEAN68, 10 years ago
      Your very welcome Kevin!!
    12. vetraio50 vetraio50, 10 years ago
      Many thanks WALKSOFTLY, RADEGRUNDER, MANIKIN 'n GARGOYLECOLLECTOR too !!!!!!!
    13. vetraio50 vetraio50, 10 years ago
      many thanks VIOLET ORANGE !!!!!
    14. vetraio50 vetraio50, 10 years ago
      Many thanks KERRY10456 !!!!!!!!!
    15. vetraio50 vetraio50, 10 years ago
      Many thanks TED STRAUB !!!!!!!!
    16. vetraio50 vetraio50, 10 years ago
      Many thanks TOM 'n MANIKIN too !!!!!!!!
    17. vetraio50 vetraio50, 10 years ago
      Many thanks TREY !!!!!!!
    18. vetraio50 vetraio50, 10 years ago
      Many thanks INKY !!!!!!!
    19. vetraio50 vetraio50, 10 years ago
      Many thanks NORDICMAN !!!!!!!!
    20. vetraio50 vetraio50, 8 years ago
      Many thanks CAPERKID !!! !!!! !!!
    21. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
      Many thanks THOMAS !!!!!
    22. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
      My apologies THOMAS for the appallingly late response. May thanks too to NEWFLD !!!.!!!.!!!

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