(b. ca. 1485, Thurgau, d. 1546, Nürnberg)

Design for a wall decoration

c. 1540
Pen and ink with wash, 378 x 309 mm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Peter Flötner, one of the period's most inventive artists, fabricated small fountains in the form of miniature landscapes. His presentation drawing for a wall fountain portrays four men and two women bathing in a natural grotto. Spring water spouts from the rock wall through two cherub heads into a dammed up pool and out again through a faun mask's mouth into a stream and, presumably, a basin below.

This fountain, much like an attractive landscape painting, brought a bit of the natural world, however artificially constructed, into a patrician's urban residence.

In the inscription, the patron is informed that the drawing is not done to scale, as if to imply that the finished fountain would be somewhat larger.