The Royal Palace of Versailles fronting the Gardens.
The Fountain of Latona. It is a large Circular Basin in the middle of w.ch [which] is Latona & her 2 Children Apollo & Diana: She is represented making complaints to Jupiter of the barbarity of the Peasants of Lycia, who had hinder’d her from gathering Refreshments. She is surrounded by those Clowns who for their punishment are Metamorphised into Frogs, they cast forth 74 Spouts of Water, some of w.ch [which] falls upon Latona. The Figures are the work of Marsi & are of white Marble & the Steps w.ch [which] support them green Marble over w.ch [which] the Water flows in Sheets, ye 2 Streams of Water at the sides of the Basin rise 30 foot high.
[J. Bowles Excudit].
|Summary:||Engraving, lettered underneath image, featuring the front facade of the Palace of Versailles and the Latona Fountain, which now faces towards the Grand Canal. The central marble group that represents Latona and her children was sculpted by Gaspard Marsy; his younger brother Balthazar, executed six lead figures of half-human and half-frog peasants, depicted at more or less advanced stages of their metamorphosis. Inspired by Ovid’s 'Metamorphoses', the Latona fountain illustrates the legend of Latona, the mother of Apollo and Diana, protecting her children against the insults of the peasants of Lycia and calling on Jupiter to avenge them; he heard their plea and transformed them into frogs and lizards. The fountain was one of the highlights of the design and dedication of the garden of Versailles to the glory of Louis XIV, the Sun King. (The metamorphosis of the peasants into frogs is often interpreted as the punishment reserved to those who dare to rebel against royal authority). |
|Format:||PRINTS & DRAWINGS|
|Published / Created:||
Printed & Sold by John Bowles, Print & Map Seller at Mercers' Hall in Cheapside,
|Notes:||Originally from "Versailles Illustrated, or Divers [Diverse] Views of the Several Parts of the Royal Palace of Versailles; as likewise of all the Fountains, Groves, Parterras, ye Labyrinth & other ye most Beautiful Parts of the Gardens, Wherein are represented whatever is remarkable whether Statues, Groups of Figures, Water Fall, Pleasure Houses, &c. Drawn on the Spot by the Order & with the Approbation of the French King". |
Formerly part of the French Prints Collection.
Physical description: 1 print ; engraving, [cropped within plate mark] 21.4 x 26.8 cm..
As a digital copy of this item is available, the original will not be issued.
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Reproduction rights owned by the National Library of Ireland.