Monday, 26 December 2011

Sab's Top Ten Paris Wallace Fountains: No.3 ~ "Green & Red All Over"

POSTED IN:  ~ PlacesTop 10 ~ Wallace Fountain

Sab's Top Ten Paris Wallace Fountains
No.3) "Green & Red All Over" ~ Introduction 
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.3) ~ "Green & Red All Over"

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 ~ visual ~ and has no need to be described in words, even if that were possible.

As time goes by I'm becoming terribly fond of these serene and assiduous ladies, far more Parisian than I ever will be, carrying out their duties unflaggingly. Which is terribly anthropomorphic of me; we're talking about lumps of painted cast iron here, but I've seen uglier ones.

On paper (or canvas?), similarly pleasing colour combinations would theoretically include yellow snuggling up to purple, and blue becoming best buddies with orange.

There's a time and a place for yellow and purple, but I fear Wallace fountains ain't it.

And as for blue and orange, this can be stunning in the context of a sunset or a simple still life. An orange Wallace fountain next to an azur sky? To be honest I'd love to see it, but I've tragically yet to find an orange Wallace fountain, although blue Parisian skies there are, from time to time.

Photoshop and its cohorts could obviously bring this queasy dream to reality but that's not a rue I want to go down right now. I'll stick with my humble little Paris Wallace Fountains Top Ten and see what else portentous Paris proffers in due course.

By the way, did you know that there is red and green present in practically every scene in Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain, the quirkily classic Parisian romantic fantasy? Well, now you do. See?

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...

© 2011 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Suggestions, questions, requests and offers always welcome!

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