Fontaine du Fellah

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Fontaine du Fellah Paris.JPG
This statue of the Roman Antinoüs dressed as Osiris, found in Hadrian's villa in 1739, apparently was the model for the fountain

The Fontaine du Fellah, also known as the Egyptian Fountain, located at 52 rue de Sèvres in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, next to the entrance of the Vaneau metro station, was built in 1806 during the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte, in the neo-Egyptian style inspired by Napoleon's Egyptian campaign. It is the work of architect François-Jean Bralle and sculptor Pierre-Nicolas Beauvallet.[1] It has been listed since 1977 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.[2]


The Fontaine du Fellah was one of fifteen fountains constructed by Napoleon to provide, from his Canal de l'Ourcq project, fresh drinking water to the population of Paris, and to commemorate his military campaigns.[3] (See Fountains in Paris). The fountain was constructed against the wall of what was then the hospital for incurable patients. It was the work of architect François-Jean Bralle, the chief engineer of the water supply for the city of Paris, who also was responsible for reconstructing the Medici Fountain in the Luxembourg Garden and several other fountains. The sculptural decoration was by Pierre-Nicolas Beauvallet, who also worked on the decoration of the column in Place Vendôme, and made busts of many revolutionary figures. The present statue is a copy made of Beauvalet's original by Jean-François Gechter.

The fountain was in working order until 2005, when it was shut down because of leakage into the nearby Vaneau Metro Station.


The title refers to an Egyptian fellah, or peasant, but statue appears to be a copy of a Roman statue of Antinous, a favorite of the Emperor Hadrian, which was discovered in the excavation of Hadrian's villa in Tivoli in 1739. The original of the statue is found in the Vatican Museum in Rome.

The figure holds two amphorae, one in each hand. Water poured from the amphorae into the semicircular basin below, then through a bronze masqueron in the form of a lion's head. The top of the fountain is decorated with an eagle, signifying Napoleon's imperial rule.


  • Paris et ses fontaines, de la Renaissance à nos jours, texts assembled by Dominque Massounie, Pauline-Prevost-Marcilhacy and Daniel Rabreau, Délegation a l'action artistique de la Ville de Paris. from the Collection Paris et son Patrimoine, directed by Beatrice de Andia. Paris, 1995 - (ISBN 9782905118806)
  • Marie-Hélène Levadé et Hugues Marcouyeau, Les fontaines de Paris : l'eau pour le plaisir - Paris, 2008 - (ISBN 9782915345056)

Sources and citations[edit]

  1. ^ Marie-Hélène Levadé et Hugues Marcouyeau, Les fontaines de Paris : l'eau pour le plaisir
  2. ^ Mérimée PA00088690, Ministère français de la Culture. (in French) Hôpital Laënnec
  3. ^ Katia Frey, L'enterprise napoléonienne, article in Paris et ses fontaines, p. 109.

Coordinates: 48°50′55.32″N 02°19′16.32″E / 48.8487000°N 2.3212000°E / 48.8487000; 2.3212000