This study traces the flowing and sealed fountain through Hispanic liturgy, demonstrating how it became one of the Conception signifiers between 1440 and 1477. Understanding of fountain design in the period, both in literary representations and in the study of medieval and Islamic gardens, illuminates the way in which poets employed fountain imagery to express ideas about sacrality, and about the Virgin’s Immaculate nature. The fountain is not a decorative feature in Moorish gardens but is key to the irrigation system, which permits all the flowering plants to survive. Poets who employed the fountain image for Mary understood that the whole history of salvation depended on her response. The fountain and its development in the late fifteenth century have resonances which have not before been realized.
|Published - 2008