Article ID: CBB492774385

Machines, Motion, Mechanics: Philosophers Engineering the Fountains of Versailles (October 2020)


Boschiero, Luciano (Author)

Technology and Culture
Volume: 61
Issue: 4
Pages: 1108-1128

Publication Date: October 2020
Edition Details: Special Issue: Manufacturing Modernity: Innovations in Early Modern Europe
Language: English

Between the 1670s and 1680s, the French King Louis XIV's evolving vision for the fountains of the Versailles gardens challenged the knowledge and abilities of his hydraulic engineers. The supplying of water to Versailles and achieving the desired effects with water jets posed major problems. Since solving them required an understanding of hydrostatics and the principles of natural motion, the work was well-suited to the expert members of the Académie des Sciences. Indeed, some members had been working on the motion and properties of water in connection with theories of mechanics and simple machines since the Académie's beginnings in 1666. This article focuses on the related work of these academicians, especially Claude Perrault, Christiaan Huygens, and Edmé Mariotte. It discusses how they saw a challenge such as the Versailles fountains as an opportunity to produce practical knowledge driven by natural philosophical principles.

Associated with

Article Adam Lucas (October 2020) Manufacturing Modernity: Innovations in Early Modern Europe—An Introduction. Technology and Culture (pp. 995-1016). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Govoni, Paola
Settle, Thomas B.
Nanni, Romano
Napolitani, Pier Daniele
Ducheyne, Steffen
Bresadola, Marco
Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation
Dynamis: Acta Hispanica ad Medicinae Scientiarumque Historiam Illustrandam
Bollettino di Storia delle Scienze Matematiche
Università di Bologna, Dipartimento di Filosofia, Centro Internazionale per la Storia delle Università e della Scienza
J. Vrin, Impr. de la Manutention
Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura
Aedes Muratoriana
University of Pittsburgh Press
Natural philosophy
Interdisciplinary approach to knowledge
Galilei, Galileo
Huygens, Christiaan
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques
Paracelsus, Theophrast von Hohenheim
Descartes, René
Vitruvius Pollio, Marcus
Time Periods
17th century
Early modern
16th century
18th century
Rome (Italy)
Tuscany (Italy)

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