Saturday, 10 October 2015

The Encelade

Created by Andre le Nôtre between 1675-78 it presented one of the tallest fountains in the gardens. When the water was working the spray could reach 25 metres straight into the air. Originally, there eight separate smaller fountains were connected to the centre fountain with small steps - this was removed in 1706. Luckily for us, the grove was returned to its original condition as late as 1998.

Bassin de l'Encélade" Jean Cotelle, ca. 1693:
The Encelade in 1693

The statue in the centre is engraved with the name of Gaspard de Marsy. The entire fountain is surrounded by a walkway neatly shaded by a trellis corridor. Roses are climbing in and out of the openings.

Bosquet de l'Encelade, Château de Versailles - photo Marie J: Bosquet de l'Encelade, Palace of Versailles:

It is quite possible that the theme was carefully chosen. The Greek myth of Enceladus is about the ambitious Enceladus who attempted to climb the rocks to the Olympus (home of the gods). As a punishment for his audacity, Jupiter unleashed a rain of stones to smash him. Quite a fitting metaphor for a young King who is eager to place the nobility firmly beneath his heel.

Le Bosquet de l'Encelade, Versailles    The Encelade Grove.         The Water jet of the Artist  Xavier Veilhan on the Grand Canal in Versailles.:

Enceladus himself

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