This important marble fountain mouth was made in Italy during the 16th century.
In the history of architecture, two types of fountains can be distinguished. On the one hand, those isolated, and on the other hand, those leaning against a wall. The fountain from which our mask comes from, whose erosion due to the passage of water at the mouth testifies to its use, seems to be of the second category.
The fountain, a major element of the medieval garden, notably because of the high symbolic value accorded to water by theology, and by extension by contemporaries, is subject to particular attention. This is especially noticeable in our room, whose marble workmanship and precision of detail demonstrate the importance given to it. The mouths that allow water to be poured into the basins, thus subjected to a great deal of plastic work, very regularly take on a zoomorphic or, as in this case, anthropomorphic appearance, then called "mascaron". However, this figure is not essentially humanoid, it takes the form of a "green man".
The term "green man" or "leafy man" refers to a face composed of various plant elements that form its features. A grotesque figure of uncertain origins, often used in architecture, it owes its name to a term first used by Lady Raglan in her 1939 article "The Green Man in Church Architecture" in The Folklore Journal.
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