Fountains begin as an abstract idea in the mind of an artist. Much like a work of art or a building, these design are often unclear at first, and must be drawn and put into a visual shape. Artists and architects are the most common fountain creators and designers. The early sketches of a fountain are the visual plan for the construction of a fountain, and are often just a jumping off point for the artist, who may make several changes to his design before it is completed. Drawings exist for some of the most important fountains in the world today, giving us insight into the creative depths of the artist minds, as well as the processes for building the fountain. Unfortunately, it is rare to find all of the sketches and drawings made, so it is often unclear as to all the steps that were taken in the drafting and building processes.
A great example of these drawings is one fountain by Bernini, for the Triton Fountain created for the Piazza Barberini in Rome. The fountain was intended to revolutionize the fountain design in Italy. The idea behind this fountain was to create a piece where the characters seem to interact with the water, instead of a solid figure. This fountain transformed the square in a beautiful elaboration of God and State. The immense detail and symbolism of the fountain, creates a journey for the viewer. The fountain is based off a passage from Ovid’s Metamorphosis, about controlling and taming the sea.