Le Théâtre d'Eau dans les jardins de Versailles
The five prints on this wall represent the grove of the Water Theater, a once spectacular synthesis of manicured greenery, ingenious water features, and allegorical sculptures. The turf-covered amphitheater was surrounded by a colonnade of small trees and jets. A rocaille fountain of nine “footlights” separated it from the stage, upon which three tapered cascades converged. At the top of each one sat a child, or “genius,” symbolizing royal power, valor, and wealth, respectively. The stage was lined by ten vases and four groups of cupids playing with a griffin, a crayfish, a swan, and a lyre. The two latter fountains (or perhaps modern imitations of them) were acquired in 1940 by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., where they enliven the garden courts of the West Building.