Mercury Fountain

In another of the display cases, you can see Mercury Fountain, by Alexander Calder. It is a scale replica of the original metal sculpture that was exhibited in the gardens at the entrance to the Spanish Pavilion at the World Exhibition in Paris.

The fountain contained a closed circuit with five tons of liquid mercury which, when it fell onto the metal trays, set in motion the vertical suspended arm that held the only note of colour, a red disk.

The public used to throw coins into the pool and, when the exhibition ended, several thousand francs were found inside it.

Alexander Calder was an American artist who came from a family of sculptors. He moved to Paris when he was just 27, where he became a friend of Joan Miró and other artists of his generation. He was the pioneer of mobile sculptures, into which he would incorporate articulated axles, gear mechanisms and even small engines.

The original fountain has not survived, but since 1977 there has been an exact replica on display at the Fundación Miró in Barcelona, that was donated by Calder himself shortly before he died.

(c) (R) 2012, MUSMon com S.L.