Monday, 5 December 2011

Sab's Top Ten Paris Wallace Fountains

POSTED IN:  ~ Places ~ Top 10 ~ Wallace Fountain

Sab's Top Ten Paris Wallace Fountains
by Sab Will,  wannabe offbeat Paris street guru

Me and Wallace, we're like that you know - practically brothers. Will - Willace - Wallace; you see, family, more or less.

It's true that as a Scot I feel more than a passing affinity with the so-called philanthropist who gave a bucketful of these fountains to my adopted city in a wild and utterly un-Scottish display of largesse if you believe the old cliché about the mean old Scots. My theory's that he'd had a few too many wee drams and was letting the whisky get in the way of wiser choices at the signing of the contract.

Whatever the truth of the matter, the fact is that there are now Wallace Fountains on practically every street corner.

They've now become so symbolic of the Parisian cityscape that they grace guide book covers and no Parisian photo essay would be complete without at least one picture of these emblematic watering holes, originally intended for the poor and thirsty in search of clean liquid refreshment.

They're generally green. But not always. There aren't enough colour variations to fill an entire Paris Top Ten, but if you'll allow me a little personal indulgence I'll try to supply you with ten Wallace Fountains which all offer you their own personal story, interwoven with mine. Santé!

Sab's Top Ten Paris Wallace Fountains

No.1) ~ "Wet There Be Water"

Why No.1? Because this pic represents a lot of nice things for me.

It was my first Wallace fountain picture published in a magazine (or was it the other one below..?).

It shows the early days of a partnership.

It oozes joy and fun and... water.

The darn thing's green like it was always...  Read more

No.2) ~ "Better Red Than... Green?"

A red Wallace Fountain? Preposterous! Who ever heard of such a thing?

And yet there it is. And a little oiseau told me it's not the only one, but this'll do for now.

Guess where it is? Think red, think...  Read more

Call it the restless artist in me, but there's something about red and green together that strikes a chord, to mix metaphors shamefully.

It's one of those colour combinations which is both striking and complementary, and it's difficult to describe exactly why. But that's just the point. Visual sensitivity is just that...  Read more

'Mellow's a misnomer actually. We're talking rich saffron, in-yer-face, head-jerking, jaw-dropping yellow here, especially when we're so used to the extremely sober bottle-green edifices we all know and love.

This is one of the very rare Wallace fountains temporarily repainted as part of a symbolic nod to the regeneration of one of the city's developing areas down in the south-west corner.

As well as this one there's a...  Read more

No.5) ~ "Self-Fountaination"

As I mention in the intro above, I've always felt an affinity with these things. We Scots don't have that much to shout about in world terms to be honest, so when I think that one of our own sprinkled these things all over my adopted /adoptive city, I find it curiously pleasing.

And as I've evolved in the city of water (and light), so my relationship with the Wallace fountains developed also.

Self-portraits form an important part of...  Read more

No.6) ~ "Pretty In Pink"

The Psychedelic Furs said it first (Pretty In Pink) and this gets me to wondering what people think of this totally outrageous relooking of Wallace's masterpiece.

I love it coz it's different. And, what's more, the plan is for the red, pink and yellow Wallace fountains to be returned to their original, and now in comparison drab and dreary bottle green once the various revamps and regenerations in the 13th have been completed.

Maybe we'll see petitions calling for these freaky...  Read more

No.8) ~ "Grey Is The Day"

This is not a black and white image. It's in colour. And the feet belong to one of the four caryatids representing charity, kindness, simplicity and, appropriately, sobriety.

In case you're wondering, they are all slightly different (being different dames), most notably by the position of their legs and the tucks of their tunics. Check them out for...  Read more

Discover all my Paris Wallace Fountains 

* Sab Will runs Photo and Curios Tours in Paris, and also manages a variety of Paris and photography-themed sites and blogs. He writes an illustrated Paris Chronicle every day, runs a Meetup group for Paris lovers, interviews Paris personalities and reviews Paris books (on this blog), and even contributes to the city's street art (shh), so feel free to browse some of the links below and in the right-hand column to find out more about what he gets up to out there...

© 2012 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Suggestions, questions, requests and offers always welcome!

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