Sunday, 8 May 2011

Tritons and Naiads catch the sun

I've crossed the river twice in the past week. There is nothing  quite like crossing the Seine to make you realise you live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. One thing that always strikes me as I get close to the river is how much bigger the sky feels as compared with up in Montmartre. Up in Montmartre, unless you are up by the Sacré Cœur overlooking Paris, you don't tend to see big open skies and long views like this.
Before crossing the river I cycled over La Place de la Concorde. I decided to stop half way across and have a closer look at the two fountains by the Obelisk. I've never really had a close look at them before, usually walking or cycling past them on my way to somewhere else. They're pretty elaborate! Built in 1840 they are designed round the theme of rivers and seas. The southernmost fountain is devoted to seas, and has six tritons or naiads holding golden fish that periodically spout water jets upwards.
In the centre of the fountains are are four figures depicting different arts and crafts. I love the way they shine.

The northernmost fountain is devoted to rivers and similarly has tritons and naiads. They all  have rather fine physiques I might add.

The water was spilling over the upper parts of the fountain.

A man in the centre was holding grapes.
And finally, I spotted a naiad with a rather fine hat. 

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