The Saint-Sulpice Fountain

In front of the Saint-Sulpice Church (see here)  you can find the impressive Saint-Sulpice Fountain, designed by Louis Visconti (1791-1853), who for a while, under Napoleon III, was the official architect of the Louvre, but also is known for the Molière Fountain (see here) and especially for the tomb of Napoleon I (see here).

The fountain was finished in 1848 and is the place for four eminent religious figures of the 17th century, all known for their eloquence. They are facing, respectively north, east, south and west – the points of the compass, the cardinal points. This has led to a play on words (which works in French): The fountain is often referred to as that of the “quatre point(s) cardinaux”, which with the “s” simply refers to the points of the compass, but without the “s” indicates that the four never became cardinals. The pronunciation is the same.

Here are the four non-cardinals:
North: Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet (1627-1704), bishop (of Meaux), court preacher, by many considered to be one of the most brilliant orators of all time. (Statue by Jean-Jacques Feuchère (1807-52).)

East: François de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon (1651-1715), commonly known as François Fénelon, archbishop, royal tutor, poet and writer (The Adventures of Telemachus). (Statue by François Lanno (1800-71).)  

South: Jean-Baptiste Massillon (1663-1742), bishop (of Clermont), preacher. (Statue by Jacques-Auguste Fauginet (1809-47).) 

West: Esprit Flechier (1632-1710), bishop (of Nîmes), preacher and author. (Statue by Louis Deprez (1799-1870).)


Anonymous said...

¡Hermosas fotos como de costumbre! Quise agrandarlas para ver mejor las facciones del rostro de estos cuatro non-Principes de la Iglesia. Todos son bellos.....

¡Pobrecitos!😉 Solo pudieron ponerlos en forma de estatuas para la posteridad...y enfrente a una iglesia que ya en ese entonces estaba cargada de tanta historia de la Francia...
Muchas gracias, M. Peter por este tour.

Jeanie said...

Wonderful photos, Peter -- and as always, wonderful information! I hope your Easter was very happy!

claude said...

C'est un monument à elle toute seule. Magnifique !