Fountain with Putto and Fish
18th century, Breccia stone and lead
This fountain depicts a putto among marsh grasses, above a stone shell, holding two fish whose mouths spout water. Its provenance is unknown; it may have originated in an aristocratic palace or chateau in France. In fact, the work recalls some of the sculptures in the garden of the Palace of Versailles. Such fountains, embellished with sumptuous decorations in gilded lead, were frequent as part of the décor of wealthy French residences in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. They were not usually placed in gardens but in dining or reception rooms where the basins were often used to chill bottles.